A foveated passive UHF RFID system for mobile manipulation

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Deyle, Travis
Anderson, Cressel D.
Kemp, Charles C.
Reynolds, Matt S.
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We present a novel antenna and system architecture for mobile manipulation based on passive RFID technology operating in the 850 MHz - 950 MHz ultra-high-frequency (UHF) spectrum. This system exploits the electromagnetic properties of UHF radio signals to present a mobile robot with both wide-angle dasiaperipheral visionpsila, sensing multiple tagged objects in the area in front of the robot, and focused, high-acuity dasiacentral visionpsila, sensing only tagged objects close to the end effector of the manipulator. These disparate tasks are performed using the same UHF RFID tag, coupled in two different electromagnetic modes. Wide-angle sensing is performed with an antenna designed for far-field electromagnetic wave propagation, while focused sensing is performed with a specially designed antenna mounted on the end effector that optimizes near-field magnetic coupling. We refer to this RFID system as dasiafoveatedpsila, by analogy with the anatomy of the human eye. We report a series of experiments on an untethered autonomous mobile manipulator in a 2.5D environment that demonstrate the features of this architecture using two novel behaviors, one in which data from the far-field antenna is used to determine if a specific tagged object is present in the robotpsilas working area and to navigate to that object, and a second using data from the near-field antenna to grasp a specified object from a collection of visually identical objects. The same UHF RFID tag is used to facilitate both the navigation and grasping tasks.
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