The Connected Container Project (CCONNECT) gives the ability to know in real time the exact contents of a mobile container. It is based on the UHF RFID Technology. It supposes that each object of placed into the container is equipped by a passive RFID tag following the EPC Global C1G2 international standard. The container is equipped with a embedded reader module and other technologies such as (Bluetooth Low Energy) and WIFI in order to transmit the information written in the memory of the reading RFID tags. The system is able to detect with no doubt the presence or absence of tags that should become invisible owing to stacking or shadowing effect due to other tags or objects locate within the same container.
Several types of container has been studied :
- A supermarket smart trolley
- A packet and mail receiving and distribution trolley
- A handling trolley used in factories and warehouses
- A handling box used in factories and warehouses
The Supermarket Smart Trolley has been the first object to be realized. It has shown that it is possible to give a consumer located within a large surface supermarket interesting characteristics of the products selected on the shelves and placed within the trolley. A specific software application has been developed on smartphone in order to prove that such a system is able to advise a buyer with a previously recorded profile on the presence or absence of allergenic substance within a foodstuff like gluten for instance. This project has been presented during several years in the Xperium of the Université de Lille – Faculté des Sciences et Technologies as part of an exhibition on the connected object issue (smart trolley by Rédha Kassi, in French).
The total technological parameters (power, radio transmitting duration, protocol, …) have been studied in order to minimize the energy consumption and in order to reach a minimum size of the embedded rechargeable battery. The autonomy of the device has been calculate in line with the duration of use of the trolley.
The radiation pattern of the UHF RFID reader antenna has been studied in order to optimize its placement within the trolley.
années à l’Xperium de l’Université de Lille 1 dans le cadre d’une exposition autour du thème des objets connectés (Chariot intelligent par Rédha Kassi ).
The packet and mail receiving and distribution trolley is a second release of the project. It has been tested in an actual use case within the IRCICA Research Building in order to solve some problems of bad reception or distribution by non-empowered staff. A specific software application allows the receiver to scan his device for his personal identification. Thus, the packet or the mail can be traced and delivered to the good recipient.
The handling trolley used in factories and warehouses is a third release which tends to bring an innovative solution the industry. It is a RFID reading system that complete the whole of already existing RFID reading systems such as the portals, the tunnels or the rackets as well. Indeed, for such companies of the industry or logistics domain, it is mandatory to know the location of an object (product, tool, spare part) within the building. By instance, it is the case when an operator has to pick an object on a shelf and put it down inside one of cardboards placed within the trolley. An error of deposit may result in a bad routing towards the bad recipient and resultant financial penalties detrimental to the company.
The handling box used in factories and warehouses is another innovative local transportation equipment. It is based on the same characteristics as that of the industrial trolley but its RFID antenna has been specifically designed in order to concentrate the reading of the tags within a well-controlled perimeter although the vertical walls constitutive of the box are made of PVC thus totally transparent to the radio electromagnetic waves !