Evaluation of Battery-free UHF-RFID Sensor Wireless Signals for In-pipe Robotic Applications
preprintposted on 2021-09-09, 03:53 authored by Amal Gunatilake, Karthick ThiyagarajanKarthick Thiyagarajan, sarath kodagoda
A reliable robotic localization method is required for comparing three-dimensional pipe maps obtained via laser scans at various times for accurately monitoring the evolution of internal pipe surface defects. Existing robotic localization methods have limitations when visual features vanish due to changes in the pipe environment or when encoder data becomes highly uncertain due to long-distance robotic traverses. To address this issue, we leverage battery-free ultra-high frequency radio frequency identification (UHF-RFID) sensors for transmitting wireless signals to a two-antenna reader integrated mobile robotic system. Although there are literature on the investigation of UHFRFID behaviors and their applications in indoor environments, analysis of the same for in-pipe scenarios was not well studied. In this paper, we evaluate the UHF-RFID sensor signals inside a field extracted pipeline. Firstly, we examine the UHF-RFID sensor signal patterns through repeated robotic scans. Secondly, we examine how the placement of UHF-RFID reader antennas affects the transmission of UHF-RFID sensor signals, as well as we study the effects of robotic traverse direction and speed on the UHF-RFID wireless signals. Finally, we examine whether identical UHF-RFID sensors generate the same pattern when placed in a pipeline. Overall, the experimental evaluation demonstrates that the use of two-antenna UHF-RFID readers can ameliorate the capabilities of robotic localization in the pipeline.