Drones and RFID by Vahid Bahrami Yekta, R&D Engineer

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Drones and RFID

Advances in drone technology started a decade ago and drones are seen in many diverse types of applications from entertainment to farming. The drone shape shifted from miniature airplanes to multi-rotor unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) platforms with high control precision. Drones carry rechargeable batteries and RF or WIFI communication units. These onboard apparatuses have become the infrastructure for other developments on the drone platform. The drone batteries with limited energy capacity and the wireless communication range are the two main challenges for developing new drone applications.

Even the technology to make the drone frame is giving birth to new industries. Super light and hard materials such as CNT (carbon Nano Tube) reinforced PLA (Polylactic Acid) that are 3D printable are preferred for the frame of small drones. The advanced materials allow a more efficient aerodynamic, light weight design and have superior strength.

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) is another emerging technology that omitted the necessity of batteries for many low power applications such as automatic identification and data capturing. RFID in combination with drones establishes a platform for wireless mobile applications never seen before. One good simple example of this combined technology is using indoor drones to track inventory [1]. Instead of workers climbing the shelves to take the inventory records, an indoor drone simply hovers all over the warehouse and emits an RF signal on the boxes to read RFID tags and check on the available items.

RFID sensors for environmental monitoring can be placed anywhere if they are read with drones. An environmental monitoring sensor is only activated once the drone hovers on top of it. The whole measurement, digitalizing, encoding and data transmission happens in a portion of second by the RF energy absorbed with the RFID’s antenna [2].

RFID and drones are two of the various topics that i-onCONNECT is working on. We invite scientists and researchers from all over BC to come and have their technology ideas about sensors, IoT, Nanotechnology and big data realized at i-onCONNECT.

[1] https://newatlas.com/mit-rfid-tracking-drones/51073/



Vahid Bahrami Yekta, R&D Engineer

i-onConnect Technologies Inc., 14 FEB 2018

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