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Real-time Location with ZigBee Hardware
Franzese, Anthony L.

2011, MS, University of Cincinnati, Engineering and Applied Science: Computer Engineering.

Mechanisms for tracking assets and inventory management are widespread and
well-developed. Tracking is achieved by attaching “tags” with unique
identifiers to assets and deploying “readers” throughout a facility to read
the identity of the tagged assets. In general the tools and solutions for asset
tracking are organized into one of two categories, namely: passive (RFID or
optical barcode) solutions and real-time location systems. Passive solutions
provide coarse-grained location services that record a tracked item’s movement
past fixed position “reader” devices. Asset movement from location to
location and into and out-of a facility are recorded. Passive systems are
highly effective for inventory control and management and they are pervasive in
the consumer products markets. In contrast, Real-Time Location Systems (RTLS)
provide pin-point location services that can identify an asset’s location at all
times. RTLS systems generally require a much larger number of expensive readers
distributed throughout the monitored facility to ensure continuous communication
with the tags and to allow triangulation services to precisely locate the tagged
assets. Thus, existing asset tracking systems provide either inexpensive
coarse-grained location services (passive solutions) or high-cost pin-point
accuracy services (RTLS solutions).

In many cases, the requirements for real-time asset tracking solutions do not
require pin-point accuracy or continuous, second-by-second location service.
For example, a solution tracking assets every 30 seconds to a coarse-grained
location on the accuracy of 50-100 feet would be more than sufficient for
locating wheelchairs or baggage carts in an airport, beds in a hospital, or
baggage carts in a hotel. Passive solutions are ineffective because the readers
can generally read only short distances (15 feet maximum) and RTLS solutions are
far too expensive to be deployed throughout an airport or large scale facility
such as a major hospital. This thesis examines the design of a coarse-grained
asset tracking solution suitable for the needs of tracking wheelchairs in
airports. The solution must be low-cost, self-organizing, and inexpensive. In
this work a solution using ZigBee networking hardware is developed and analyzed.
The result provides a solution where the tags are small enough to fit
comfortably on wheelchairs and baggage carts and they can provide identifying
broadcast signaling for at least one year using two AA batteries. The
technology provides a self-organizing network where readers can be placed at
reasonable distances (100-200 feet) from one another and that can provide asset
tracking coverage over the largest airports in the world.

Philip Wilsey, PhD (Committee Chair)
Fred Beyette, PhD (Committee Member)
Carla Purdy, C, PhD (Committee Member)
80 p.

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Franzese, A. (2011). Real-time Location with ZigBee Hardware. (Electronic Thesis or Dissertation). Retrieved from

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Franzese, Anthony. "Real-time Location with ZigBee Hardware." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. University of Cincinnati, 2011. OhioLINK Electronic Theses and Dissertations Center. 11 Dec 2017.

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Franzese, Anthony "Real-time Location with ZigBee Hardware." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. University of Cincinnati, 2011.


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