The Snout platform provides ease of extendability via its numerous IO
capabilities. The Snout platform also includes a USB host module. Primarily the
aim of this module was to allow data logs to be saved onto a USB flash memory as
well as to the permanent storage of Gumstix. This would allow the users to plug
a USB flash memory and log sensor readings while on the move and later import
this file into a mapping application to create the desired visualisation.
The USB host allows for ease of integration of other external devices with this
platform. So it was decided to use the Snout platform together with an RFID
reader for monitoring and tracking of cleaning practises in an
environment(aimed at hospital environments). The RFID reader was attached to the
USB host of the Snout platform and successfully functioned when reading RFID
tags. The application would detect tag ids and send these id strings via
Bluetooth to a desktop computer. The received ids would then be used to generate
a visual track of the travelled route.
To demonstrate this application, a set of RFID tags were taped to
the lab floor and
the Snout platform was mounted onto a vacuum cleaner with its RFID reader
placed at the bottom of the vacuum cleaner. Once everything was set and running,
a biased hoovering process began which resulted in the sequential reading
of tags placed in the lab. Figure 7.3 shows the results
of this trial.
The extended Snout platform was later mounted on top of an
iRobot Roomba(a robot vacuum cleaner) and put to the test.
The tags Roomba read did not truly represent the path it had taken.
This was mainly due to the small range of the RFID reader. Ideally the RFID
reader should detect all tags that are withing the suction area of the vacuum
cleaner. At the time of writing this we have obtained a suitable size antenna
for the RFID reader and plan to rerun the tests soon.
Sequential reading of RFID tags taped to the lab floor.