Since 2003, the strong appeal raised by Radiofrequency Identification (RFID) and the perspective of massive applicability of such a technology, have boosted the technological progress in the field of auto-identification, thus allowing the widespread diffusion of very effective tags and reader.

An important contribution to this scientific and technological improvement has been given by the RFID Division of EML2, today involved in STEP, with scientific publications, funded research projects, and two patents.

The most significant strengths towards competitors are the in-depth knowledge of the electromagnetic phenomena regulating the communication between tag and reader, as well as the skills needed to govern such phenomena. This gave and keeps on giving to STEP the ability to propose really effective specifically tailored solutions.

For years EML2 has been also a driving force of innovation in RFID community. In 2008, for instance, EML2 communicated to the scientific community the birth of a device integrating passive RFID tags with sensors. Today there are special sessions at international conferences focused on RFID-Sensing. Moreover, since that time, EML2 has patented a “sensor-tag” and has designed three different fully-passive and cost-effective devices capable to transmit, besides the static identification code, even variable and context-dependent data, and equipped with computing and actuating capabilities.

In this decade, many are the activities accrediting the RFID division of EML2, and consequently STEP. Apart from the most traditional ones more closely related to logistics, such activities include:

  • RFID-assisted robot navigation
  • Design and implementation of a test environment for the complete characterization of RFID tags
  • Development of rapid prototyping systems for RFID tags based on cutting plotter
  • Development of rapid prototyping systems for RFID tags based on wax-ink printers
  • Design and realization of RAMSES: RFID Augmented Module for Smart Environmental Sensing. RAMSES allows the transmission of sensor data in a fully-passive mode up to 10 meters away and is, to date, the better performing RFID-sensing device
  • Design and realization of SPARTACUS: Self Powered Augmented RFID Tag for Autonomous Computing and Ubiquoutus Sensing. SPARTACUS combines slf-powering, identification, sensing, actuating, and computational capability, paving the way to new classes of applications which cannot be addressed by other technologies
  • Design and implementation of on-metal tags
  • Design and realization of a tag specifically designed for the traceability of drugs (patented)
  • Design, implementation and test of a monitoring system for small animals (lab mice) based on a system of segmented loop reader antennas to read Near Field tags implanted into mice. This project was carried out in collaboration with the Italian National Institute of Health

The following funded project deserve a citation:

  • European Project CIP ICT PSP farm2fork ( F2F ), coordinated by the University of Wolverhampton, UK. The project has demonstrated the potential return on investment of RFID in the food industry . RFID technology has been adopted at all stages of both production and sales chains, allowing the user to keep track of the products from the producer (farm) to the final consumer (fork). The main tasks in charge of EML2 have been the HW and SW technological scouting, the electromagnetic characterization of different readers and tags, the design of integrated RFID-WSN solution, and the full implementation of the solution in a winery producing Aglianico del Vulture.
  • POR Puglia 2000-2006 - Project "Exploring Possible Applications of RFID in healthcare environment : Design and Implementation of High Added Value Smart Tags", coordinated by EML2, in which it has been designed and realized the first example of the Sensor-Tag, a passive device integrated with biomedical sensors enabling telemedicine solutions based on RFID technology.

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