533 research outputs found

    UHF-RFID solutions for logistics units management in the food supply chain

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    The availability of systems for automatic and simultaneous identification of several items belonging to a logistics unit during production, warehousing and delivering can improve supply chain management and speed traceability controls. Radio frequency identification (RFID) is a powerful technique that potentially permits to reach this goal, but some aspects as, for instance, food product composition (e.g. moisture content, salt or sugar content) and some peculiarities of the production environment (high moisture, high/low temperatures, metallic structures) have prevented, so far, its application in food sector. In the food industry, composition and shape of items are much less regular than in other commodities sectors. In addition, a wide variety of packaging, composed by different materials, is employed. As material, size and shape of items to which the tag should be attached strongly influence the minimum power requested for tag functioning, performance improvements can be achieved only selecting suitable RF identifier for the specific combination of food product and packaging. When dealing with logistics units, the dynamic reading of a vast number of tags originates simultaneous broadcasting of signals (tag-to-tag collisions) that could affect reading rates and the overall reliability of the identification procedure. This paper reports the results of an extensive analysis of the reading performance of UHF RFID systems for multiple dynamic electronic identification of food packed products in controlled conditions. Products were considered singularly or arranged on a logistics pallet. The effects on reading rate and reading zone of different factors, among which the type of product, the number and position of antennas, the field polarization, the reader RF power output, the interrogation protocol configuration as well as the transit speed, the number of tags and their interactions were analysed and compared

    Cost-effective visual odometry system for vehicle motion control in agricultural environments

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    In precision agriculture, innovative cost-effective technologies and new improved solutions, aimed at making operations and processes more reliable, robust and economically viable, are still needed. In this context, robotics and automation play a crucial role, with particular reference to unmanned vehicles for crop monitoring and site-specific operations. However, unstructured and irregular working environments, such as agricultural scenarios, require specific solutions regarding positioning and motion control of autonomous vehicles. In this paper, a reliable and cost-effective monocular visual odometry system, properly calibrated for the localisation and navigation of tracked vehicles on agricultural terrains, is presented. The main contribution of this work is the design and implementation of an enhanced image processing algorithm, based on the cross-correlation approach. It was specifically developed to use a simplified hardware and a low complexity mechanical system, without compromising performance. By providing sub-pixel results, the presented algorithm allows to exploit low-resolution images, thus obtaining high accuracy in motion estimation with short computing time. The results, in terms of odometry accuracy and processing time, achieved during the in-field experimentation campaign on several terrains proved the effectiveness of the proposed method and its fitness for automatic control solutions in precision agriculture applications
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