Tag Archives: RFID

Changing Hospital Waiting Rooms with RFID Technology

Engineers at Cornell university have created a new system for measuring vitals, which could revolutionize hospital experience for everybody. Usually, getting sick means having to go to the hospital which because of today´s procedures takes almost all your day (if not more), and most of the time is spent in waiting rooms. What if you could be “attended” while still in the waiting room? Because of RFID technology this is now possible with a device that can measure your vitals while you wait.

RFID (short for radio frequency identification) uses electromagnetic fields to track and identify tags attached to objects. Passive tags collect energy from a nearby RFID reader (they don’t require a battery) and can operate several meters away. The signal from the reader induces a small electric current enough to operate the CMOS of the tag.

This new system uses cheap sensor that don’t require their own power supplies, while the reader powers them and gathers data wirelessly. These tags are applied to the skin, and using radio waves they can measure blood pressure, breath rate, heart rate etc. The reader can gather data from hundreds of these tags at the same time, and they are cheap to produce. Nowadays, the price of the tags depends on memory, type of packaging and the volume of tags requested, but passive tags cost around 7 to 15 U.S cents.

As a result, not only waiting times could be shortened, but the work of many doctors and nurses could be lightened. Currently, monitoring vitals takes a lot of equipment which is expensive and big. With this new technology, big and not practical equipment will be no longer needed, and the work done by many devices will be done by a small sticker with the size of a finger or smaller.

In the beginning RFID had security issues because anyone could access the information on the tags, but nowadays security protocols have been implemented to encrypt and protect users data. This makes this device not only practical and affordable, but also safe and private.

[Source]

WISP – Re-programmable Microcontroller That Runs On Energy Harvested From Radio Waves

A new research initiative between the University of Washington’s Sensor Lab and the Technical University of Delft in the Netherlands has created a microprocessor that can power itself through stray radio waves and receive programmable updates in the same fashion. While the RISC-derived 16-bit microcontroller CPU is very weak compared to modern standards, it’s much more powerful than any other device that’s powered by ambient energy in the environment with no battery required.

The WISP 5 - Microchips and sensors run from radio wave's energy
The WISP 5 – Microchips and sensors run from radio wave’s energy

This battery-free system is equipped with a sensor and a microchip, which can be powered entirely by radio waves harvested from the air and is up to 10 times faster than similar ambient-powered devices. Best of all, in contrast to similar devices, it can also download executables, allowing it be reprogrammed or upgraded to newer version of firmware whenever needed. This has significant implications for the Internet of Things development and for ambient computing as a whole.

The variety of handheld, portable technology, and wearable gadgets available today is truly amazing. In order to make devices even more compact and thinner, manufacturers typically try to shrink their designs as much as possible. Unfortunately, device size is ultimately limited by the batteries, all of which have a certain capacity before they dry out and must be recharged again. It is a challenge for engineers and designers to balance battery life with function and aesthetics.

The project of radio wave-driven microcontroller is dubbed WISP, or Wireless Identification and Sensing Platform. RFID (CRFID) technology is an example of  WISP. In particular, WISP is capable of being powered passively by converting radio frequencies emitted by conventional RFID (radio frequency identification) readers into electrical power. The project’s latest accomplishment is the addition of Wisent (short for “wirelessly sent”), a faster and more reliable downstream communication-oriented protocol for CRFIDs that can tolerate fluctuations in operating power.

The WISP is constructed out of an open source, open architecture EPC Class 1 Generation 2 RFID tag that incorporates a fully programmable 16-bit microcontroller, in addition to any add-on sensors. It differs from ordinary RFID tags as it is programmable, and can be multi-functional. The team writes in their research paper,

The novelty of Wisent is its ability to change adaptively the frame length sent by the reader, based on the length throttling mechanism, to minimize the transfer times at varying channel conditions. Wisent enables wireless CRFID reprogramming, demonstrating the world’s first wirelessly reprogrammable CRFID.

Windows PC Lock/Unlock Using RFID

by kksjunior @ instructables.com:

How often have you felt tired of typing in the password to unlock your PC/laptop every time it got locked? I’m used to locking it down quite a number of times, everyday, and nothing is more annoying than typing the password/pin over and over again, every-time I want to unlock it. When the need for something becomes essential, you are forced to find ways of getting it. As the saying goes, “necessity is the mother of invention”, the lazy mind in me started to think of an easy and a cheap way to unlock my personal Computer/Laptop every time I had to lock it. As I went through my stuff I found a RC522 RFID module. That’s when I decided to make an RFID system

Windows PC Lock/Unlock Using RFID – [Link]

Arduino RFID Keycard Access

Use the PN532 NFC available on the anduinoWiFi shield to create an RFID keycard building access system. by Brian Carbonette @ hackster.io

Arduino RFID Keycard Access – [Link]

Arduino Ouija Board

Ouija Board is a flat board marked with the letters of the alphabet, the numbers 0–9, the words “yes”, “no”, along with various symbols and graphics. It uses a small heart-shaped piece of wood or plastic called a planchette. Participants place their fingers on the planchette, and it is moved about the board to spell out words. The Ouija board is also called the spirit board and the talking board.

It was regarded as a parlor game unrelated to the occult until American spiritualist Pearl Curran popularized its use as a divining tool during World War I.

This board seems spooky! But how about combining it with Arduino? This project will introduce Arduino as the mind of this board with the planchette vibrating when it approaches certain letters plus opening a lock!

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This project uses Radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology that uses electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and track tags attached to objects. The board has some RFID tags on its back at the exact positions of the letters and the planchette has RFID reader to be able to open the lock while choosing letters the same as the pre-configured password. Thanks to wireless technology used in this project, a radio receiver will control the lock when a password match happens!

In order to build this project you need to get a Ouija board or make one by yourself. Plus you need the following parts and materials:

You have to use Arduino IDE to program the Arduino mini.

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The RFID reader is located within the planchette and it is attached to an Arduino and a battery, keeping in mind providing a place for the antenna in the planchette design. In the other side, the receiver is attached to the actuator and it contains an Arduino Pro Mini, a relay module, an NRF24L01 with a 1117-3.3 regulator attached, a separate 7805 linear regulator with some capacitors and LEDs.

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You can check this board in action, the password here is “ Rose”

The sky’s the limit when it comes to choosing an actuator and the lock here in this project is just an example. You can check designs, code snippets, schematics and more detailed information about designing and programming this haunted Ouija board at the project’s page.

RFID Tutorial with an Arduino Uno and an OLED display

educ8s.tv uploaded a new video on a RFID Arduino Tutorial:

Today we are going to build a very interesting project. For the first time we are going to use RFID tags with Arduino. I have built a simple project which reads the Unique ID (UID) of each RFID tag we place close to the reader and displays it on this OLED display. If the UID of the tag is equal to a predefined value that is stored in Arduino’s memory, then in the display we are going to see the “Unlocked” message. If the Unique ID of the card is not equal to the predefined value, the Unlock message won’t appear. Cool isn’t it?

RFID Tutorial with an Arduino Uno and an OLED display [Link]

Inside the tiny RFID chip that runs San Francisco’s race

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Ken Shirriff teardowns an RFID chip used to track the time each runner took to run the race.

At the beginning and end of the race, the runners cross special mats that contain antennas and broadcast ultra high frequency radio signals. The runner’s RFID chip detects this signal and sends back the athlete’s ID number, which is programmed into the chip. By tracking these ID numbers, the system determines the time each runner took to run the race. The cool thing about these RFID chips is they are powered by the received radio signal; they don’t need a battery.

Inside the tiny RFID chip that runs San Francisco’s race – [Link]

RFID Computer login

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Luke wanted to login on his PC without having to type in a password. He solved this by using a RC522 RFID reader and an Arduino Leonardo.

There are various products on the market that would solve this problem from fingerprint readers to proximity dongles but i decided to see what i could knock up with parts i mainly already had.

Looking in my micro stuff i had a RC522 RFID tag reader 3.3v :

Also an 3.3v arduino Leonardo clone aswell based on a sparkfun pro micro which also can act as a USB device such as a keyboard. This is useful as if a 5v arduino was used a level shifter would be required due to the RC522 not being 5v torrent.

RFID Computer login – [Link]

DIY electronic RFID Door Lock with Battery Backup

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Elmue build a RFID electronic door lock using PN532 Controller, Vehicle Battery and Teensy 3.2 board.

The advantage of an electronic door lock is that the above security issues do not apply.
It is much better to have a safe door lock which prevents that the thief can enter than to have an alarm system which makes noise when the thief is already in. Until the police arrives he will be gone and probably some precious things will be missing. Secure locks are always better than alarm systems or cameras.

DIY electronic RFID Door Lock with Battery Backup – [Link]

WISP – Wireless Identification and Sensing Platform

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WISP, the Wireless Identification and Sensing Platform, is a family of sensors that are powered and read by UHF RFID readers.

WISP, the Wireless Identification and Sensing Platform, is a family of sensors that are powered and read by UHF RFID readers. WISPs do not require batteries since they harvest their power from the RF signal generated by the reader. The WISP is an open source, open architecture EPC Class 1 Generation 2 RFID tag that includes a fully programmable 16 bit microcontroller, as well as arbitrary sensors.

WISP – Wireless Identification and Sensing Platform – [Link]