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Wireless Item Label Locator (WILL). The Third Eye Ltd. Tongxin Feng, CEO Jieun Choi, VPRD Sieun Lee, VPRD April 21, 2008. ENSC 440 Project Presentation/Demo. Presentation Outline. Introduce the Team Why WILL? : Project Background & Motivation System Overview & High Level System Design

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Wireless Item Label Locator (WILL)

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Wireless item label locator will

Wireless Item Label Locator(WILL)

The Third Eye Ltd.

Tongxin Feng, CEO

Jieun Choi, VPRD

Sieun Lee, VPRD

April 21, 2008

ENSC 440 Project Presentation/Demo


Presentation outline

Presentation Outline

  • Introduce the Team

  • Why WILL? : Project Background & Motivation

  • System Overview & High Level System Design

  • Business Case

  • Project Specifics

  • Lesson Learned

  • Conclusion & Future Works

  • Sources & Acknowledgements

  • Questions & Some System Details


The third eye team

The Third Eye Team

  • Tongxin Feng (President/CEO)

  • 5th year Electronics Engineering

  • MC Programming / User Interface Design & Construction

  • Tasks & Schedule Management

  • Jieun Choi (VP Research & Development)

  • 6th year Systems Engineering

  • Overall RFID research / Reader – MC Communication & Programming / User Interface Design & Construction

  • Resource & Budget Management

  • Sieun Lee (VP Research & Development)

  • 6th year Engineering Physics

  • Antenna Modification and Performance Test / Reader – MC Support / Power Supply and Delay Unit Design & Construction

  • Documentation Management


Why will

Why WILL?

  • Motivation

    How much time do I spend searching for my key/wallet/cell phone/etc. in my room?

    How difficult would it be for a blind person to find a misplaced item?

    The leading cause of blindness is aging – which often comes with memory loss as well.

  • Further User & Market Research

    There is a need/want, but no satisfying product.

    The Problem: Tag Battery Life


System overview

System Overview

  • What WILL does

  • Features

  • Intuitive user interface, direction/range detection

  • Tags do not require batteries

  • Portable


System overview1

System Overview

  • Design Overview


High level system design t

High-Level System Design (T)


High level system design t1

High-Level System Design (T)


High level system design j

Reader Module

Microcontroller

Protocol

Communication

Reader

communication

Antenna

User interface

High-Level System Design (J)

  • Reader and Microcontroller module

Reader

Protocol

TTL

TTL

request

response

request

response

request

request

response


High level system design j1

High-Level System Design (J)

  • User Interface and Microcontroller

User Interface

Microcontroller

Button 1

User

Interface

Request

Reader

Comm

Button 2

Button 3

LED

Response

Buzzer


User interface

User Interface

Braille


Antenna

Antenna

  • Linearly polarized, UHF monopole antenna

  • Problems

    i) Polarization & Directionality

    ii) Size

  • Why still this antenna?

    • Most marketed directional antennas are large, especially in UHF range. Most RFID devices are omni-directional.

    • Must design & build an antenna - time and budget constraints

  • How we compensated

    • Somewhat directional – strongest signal in the direction of the tag

    • Add a parabolic dish and metal back plate for better gain & directionality. (Bigger size though)


Reading range tests

Reading Range Tests


Reading range tests1

Reading Range Tests


Business case

Business Case

  • Market

  • 19.7 million in North America with visual impairment

  • Item locating function also marketable to healthy population

  • Cost

  • Active tags are around $10 -$ 50 dollars. But for each tag, users require to change battery from 1 month to 6 months depends on how much they use

  • WILL costs around $350 and need rechargeable batteries for the reader.

  • UHF reader and antenna are expensive, so instead lowering the cost, expanding the feature such as UHF RFID home security can be an option.


Business case1

Business Case

  • Financing

  • Investors

  • International funding sources to develop assistive devices

  • Competition

  • Other assistive devices for the visually impaired (Direct/indirect)

  • RFID products


Budgets and funding

Budgets and Funding


Time line

Time Line

Expectation

Actual time


Lesson learned

Lesson Learned

  • Not to overload oneself

  • Do ample research before choosing a project - simplest ideas can be the most difficult to implement

  • If you run into a problem, it is highly possible someone else run into the same problem

  • Even if you don’t seem to progress, you are actually learning


Conclusion

Conclusion

  • We were able to achieve the significant part of the two important functions that were proposed only for the product stage : indicating the direction and relative range of the tag!


Future works

Future Works

  • Design and build a small, directional antenna

  • Make more user friendly interface using speaker to let user know the stage of the process and use lock in buttons

  • Build more stable circuit for power module and user interface

  • Reduce the size and the increase the battery life


Sources acknowledgement

Sources & Acknowledgement

  • Dr. Patrick Leung and Steve Whitmore, Instructors

  • Brad Oldham and Jason Lee, TAs

  • Fred Heep and Marius Haiduku, Lab Technicians

  • Dr. Rodney Vaughn, Dr. Shawn Stapleton and Jane Yun, RF/Microwave Mobile Communication Laboratory

  • Derek Pyner, Pacific Design Engineering

  • Andrey Gleener, Andrey Gleener R&D Services


Questions

Questions?


Thank you

Thank you!


Wireless item label locator will

Demo

  • Item 1


Wireless item label locator will

Demo

  • Item2


Wireless item label locator will

Demo

  • Item3


Tag type

Tag Type


Extension

Extension

  • Why did we need one month extension?

    • Looking for parts – 2 weeks delay

      Late January and early February, we were not able to find the right UHF RFID development product.

      • Required long range but small size product

      • Fully assembled products – therefore, not much room for development and mostly software development was encouraged for UHF

      • No schematic or source code provided

    • Reader and Microcontroller connection – 1 month delay


Reader module connection

Reader Module Connection

  • Problem 1 – Late February until early March

    Reader module cannot be program at all except changing some settings; therefore, we were not able to control the reader module directly

  • Problem 2 – Early March until end of April

    Reader module and Microcontroller cannot communicate to each other using UART or TTL signals


Reader module connection1

RS232

RS232

Reader module on interface board

Microcontroller on interface board

Computer

Reader Module Connection

  • Trial 1 : Connect each module separately to computer using RS232 signals

    • Result: Both modules communicate successfully


Reader module connection2

Null modem Cable

Reader module on interface board

Microcontroller on interface board

Reader Module Connection

  • Trial2: Connect reader module and MC together using RS232 signals via null modem cable

    • Result: auto shutdown occurred


Reader module connection3

Reader Module Connection

  • Null Modem Cable

    • RS232

      • DCE-DCE

      • How about Direct Connection?

        Auto shutdown did not occur however, the signals are not delivered

    • Auto shutdown

      • The level shifter chips believe that the input signals on both side

        Possible problem occurred due to level shifter chips, so we decided to use TTL signal directly


Reader module connection4

Reader module

MC

TTL

Reader Module Connection

  • Trial 3: Connect Two module using TTL Signal

    • Result : no response occurred

      Signals may not be correct


Reader module connection5

Reader Module Connection

  • Checked TTL Signals on both side

    • Microcontroller

      • It seems like a proper signal

        as mentioned in data sheet

    • Reader module

      • It is not a correct signal

        as mentioned in data sheet

        ( Low: ~0V High:~4.5V)

        Reader module seems to cause a problem (later, we found out oscilloscope is very senstive to this reader module signals)


Reader module connection6

Reader

module

MAX232N

TTL

RS232

Reader Module Connection

  • Trial 4 : Generate TTL signal from the Computer RS232 signal

    • Because RS232 signals from computer transmits correctly to the reader module, we used MAX232N chips to convert RS232 signals back to TTL signal and feed into Reader module and see what happens

    • Result: No response


Reader module connection7

TTL

MAX232N

RS232

RS232

Input signal loop backs to output signal

Reader Module Connection

  • Continued from Trial4

  • Used Loop back system to see whether the signals from MAX232N chips is distorted

    • Result : Correct. Input and output are the same

      No problem in the signals from the chip.

      Reader module only understands the RS232 signals from computer but anything else


Reader module connection8

MC on interface board

MC

MAX

232N

MAX

232N

Reader Module Connection

  • Reader module communication trials

    All methods did not work

RS232

Reader on interface board

RS232

MC

Reader

TTL

TTL


Reader module connection solved

Reader Module Connection -Solved

  • How did we solve this problem?

    Check all the basics!

    After we used the right handshaking and all the right

    settings one of the setting was not fixed correctly.

     The MC stop bit was set as 2 bits where the reader module is set default to 1 bit.

    Until mid April, the setting was correct, however, it was changed during our trials, and we did not double check this setting later. We found it using logic analyzer.


Problems confronted

Problems confronted

  • Power supply generates noise in Microcontroller TTL signals

  • Not enough time to investigate circuit.

  • We believe the problem occurred from input and output devices connected the Vcc.

  • Why are they connected to Vcc?

     We used the STK500 development board and to make it work without the development board, we used STK500 schematic to make the hardware environment as similar to do debugging


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