Date of Award

8-2011

Degree Name

MS in Biomedical Engineering

Department

Biomedical and General Engineering

Advisor

Dr. Lily Laiho

Abstract

This study evaluated the potential of using Passive Radiofrequency Identification [RFID] Technology as basis for a Real Time Location Tracking System [RTLTS] to assist an individual with a visual impairment participating in physical activities, such as basketball. While RTLTSs exist based upon other technologies, Passive RFID Technology had yet to be examined for its potential in such an application. In this study, a system was designed and modified, for Passive RFID Technology, in order to enhance the performance of the RTLTS. More specifically, the first iteration of the software code employed the use of multiple RFID antennas to cooperatively designate unique zones, which allowed for the identification of a user’s general position. A series of tests were then conducted to assess the system’s accuracy. In addition, it was determined whether or not factors, such as the addition of multiple tags identifying an object, change in the attenuation level and height level of the antenna, or the position of the tag, had a significant effect on the accuracy of the system. This study showed that the system’s greatest accuracy was obtained when six distinct Passive RFID tags were used to identify the object and when the antenna had a direct line of sight to the tags. Results also showed that these read accuracy rates were indeed comparable to other technologies. Therefore, there exists optimism in using Passive RFID technology as a basis for a RTLTS to assist an individual with a visual impairment.

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