In-Hand Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) for Robotic Manipulation
Tralie, Christopher J.
Reynolds, Matthew S.
Kemp, Charles C.
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We present a unique multi-antenna RFID reader (a sensor) embedded in a robot's manipulator that is designed to operate with ordinary UHF RFID tags in a short-range, near-field electromagnetic regime. Using specially designed near-field antennas enables our sensor to obtain spatial information from tags at ranges of less than 1 meter. In this work, we characterize the near-field sensor's ability to detect tagged objects in the robots manipulator, present robot behaviors to determine the identity of a grasped object, and investigate how additional RF signal properties can be used for “pre-touch” capabilities such as servoing to grasp an object. The future combination of long-range (far-field) and short-range (near-field) UHF RFID sensing has the potential to enable roboticists to jump-start applications by obviating or supplementing false-positive-prone visual object recognition. These techniques may be especially useful in the healthcare and service sectors, where mis-identification of an object (for example, a medication bottle) could have catastrophic consequences.