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Friday, October 15, 2010

Intelligent Floor for Robot Navigation

Keeping track of robots in enclosed spaces still requires sophisticated technology. German Future-Shape has developed an intelligent floor that provides invisible landmarks by using RFID tags. RFID stands for Radio Frequency IDentification.
These tags use an electromagnetic field to retrieve or store information. Since they are passive devices, they do not require a power supply, and they are becoming increasingly popular in logistics applications. Robotic vehicles or other moving objects only need an RFID reader and map loaded in the controller to indicate the position of the tags in the floor. Equipped in this way, the robot can determine its exact position whenever the reader comes within range of a tag.

The intelligent floor calles NaviFloor® is based on impact (footstep) sound insulation textile layer which can easily be installed using a non-permanent adhesive. Future-Shape has developed a robust encapsulation technique which can be used to embed a grid (e.g. 50 cm) of RFID tags (13.56 MHz) into the underlay and protects them against mechanical stress and moisture. The NaviFloor® underlay has been tested for installation under carpeting, laminate and parquet.

Images: Future-Shape, BARiT(R)

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