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Special Issue "RFID-Based Sensors for IoT Applications"

A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "Sensor Networks".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 October 2018

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Maurizio Rebaudengo

Dipartimento di Automatica e Informatica, Politecnico di Torino, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi 24, 10129 Turin, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: WSN; IoT; key management; security; dependability; RFID

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

A confluence of technological advances marks the advent of a new era. World data volume is growing at an unprecedented pace, much of it from embedded devices. Smart cities and environments are expected to grow, fed by millions of data points from multitudes of sources and sensors. Building upon a complex network connecting billions of devices and humans into a multi-technology, multi-protocol and multi-platform infrastructure, the Internet-of-Things (IoT) main vision is to create an intelligent world where the real, the digital and the virtual are converging to create smart environments that provide more intelligence to energy, health, transport, cities, industry, buildings and many other areas of our daily life. A hot topic in this field is to design sensor networks able to collect useful information to manage and control the smart environment. RFID is a key technology for sensor communication by enabling a ubiquitous and pervasive computing network.

The aim of this Special Issue is to collect papers from academic and industrial players with original, previously unpublished research about new trends and solutions to still open problems in developing IoT applications. Additionally, selected papers from the 6th international EURASIP workshop on RFID technology (EURASIP RFID 2018 Workshop, http://www.eurasip-rfid.org/) with enough extensions will also be included in the special issue.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Integration of sensors with RFID tags
  • Modeling, Simulation and Performance in RFID
  • Ambient intelligence based on RFID labeling
  • Standards and communication protocols
  • Implementation issues
  • Security issues and protocols
  • Smart and programmable tags
  • Applications and industrial experience
  • Devices for the Internet of Things

Prof. Dr. Maurizio Rebaudengo
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sensors is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • RFID
  • Internet of things
  • WSN
  • Ambient intelligence
  • NFC
  • Security

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Energy-Aware RFID Anti-Collision Protocol
Sensors 2018, 18(6), 1904; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18061904
Received: 21 May 2018 / Revised: 6 June 2018 / Accepted: 7 June 2018 / Published: 11 June 2018
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Abstract
The growing interest in mobile devices is transforming wireless identification technologies. Mobile and battery-powered Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) readers, such as hand readers and smart phones, are are becoming increasingly attractive. These RFID readers require energy-efficient anti-collision protocols to minimize the tag collisions
[...] Read more.
The growing interest in mobile devices is transforming wireless identification technologies. Mobile and battery-powered Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) readers, such as hand readers and smart phones, are are becoming increasingly attractive. These RFID readers require energy-efficient anti-collision protocols to minimize the tag collisions and to expand the reader’s battery life. Furthermore, there is an increasing interest in RFID sensor networks with a growing number of RFID sensor tags. Thus, RFID application developers must be mindful of tag anti-collision protocols. Energy-efficient protocols involve a low reader energy consumption per tag. This work presents a thorough study of the reader energy consumption per tag and analyzes the main factor that affects this metric: the frame size update strategy. Using the conclusion of this analysis, the anti-collision protocol Energy-Aware Slotted Aloha (EASA) is presented to decrease the energy consumption per tag. The frame size update strategy of EASA is configured to minimize the energy consumption per tag. As a result, EASA presents an energy-aware frame. The performance of the proposed protocol is evaluated and compared with several state of the art Aloha-based anti-collision protocols based on the current RFID standard. Simulation results show that EASA, with an average of 15 mJ consumed per tag identified, achieves a 6% average improvement in the energy consumption per tag in relation to the strategies of the comparison. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RFID-Based Sensors for IoT Applications)
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Open AccessArticle A Novel Displacement and Tilt Detection Method Using Passive UHF RFID Technology
Sensors 2018, 18(5), 1644; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18051644
Received: 26 April 2018 / Revised: 17 May 2018 / Accepted: 18 May 2018 / Published: 21 May 2018
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Abstract
The displacement and tilt angle of an object are useful information for wireless monitoring applications. In this paper, a low-cost detection method based on passive radio frequency identification (RFID) technology is proposed. This method uses a standard ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID reader to measure
[...] Read more.
The displacement and tilt angle of an object are useful information for wireless monitoring applications. In this paper, a low-cost detection method based on passive radio frequency identification (RFID) technology is proposed. This method uses a standard ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID reader to measure the phase variation of the tag response and detect the displacement and tilt angle of RFID tags attached to the targeted object. An accurate displacement result can be detected by the RFID system with a linearly polarized (LP) reader antenna. Based on the displacement results, an accurate tilt angle can also be detected by the RFID system with a circularly polarized (CP) reader antenna, which has been proved to have a linear relationship with the phase parameter of the tag’s backscattered wave. As far as accuracy is concerned, the mean absolute error (MAE) of displacement is less than 2 mm and the MAE of the tilt angle is less than 2.5° for an RFID system with 500 mm working range. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RFID-Based Sensors for IoT Applications)
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Open AccessArticle An Ultra-Low-Power RFID/NFC Frontend IC Using 0.18 μm CMOS Technology for Passive Tag Applications
Sensors 2018, 18(5), 1452; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18051452
Received: 20 February 2018 / Revised: 10 April 2018 / Accepted: 18 April 2018 / Published: 7 May 2018
PDF Full-text (12122 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Battery-less passive sensor tags based on RFID or NFC technology have achieved much popularity in recent times. Passive tags are widely used for various applications like inventory control or in biotelemetry. In this paper, we present a new RFID/NFC frontend IC (integrated circuit)
[...] Read more.
Battery-less passive sensor tags based on RFID or NFC technology have achieved much popularity in recent times. Passive tags are widely used for various applications like inventory control or in biotelemetry. In this paper, we present a new RFID/NFC frontend IC (integrated circuit) for 13.56 MHz passive tag applications. The design of the frontend IC is compatible with the standard ISO 15693/NFC 5. The paper discusses the analog design part in details with a brief overview of the digital interface and some of the critical measured parameters. A novel approach is adopted for the demodulator design, to demodulate the 10% ASK (amplitude shift keying) signal. The demodulator circuit consists of a comparator designed with a preset offset voltage. The comparator circuit design is discussed in detail. The power consumption of the bandgap reference circuit is used as the load for the envelope detection of the ASK modulated signal. The sub-threshold operation and low-supply-voltage are used extensively in the analog design—to keep the power consumption low. The IC was fabricated using 0.18 μ m CMOS technology in a die area of 1.5 mm × 1.5 mm and an effective area of 0.7 m m 2 . The minimum supply voltage desired is 1.2 V, for which the total power consumption is 107 μ W. The analog part of the design consumes only 36 μ W, which is low in comparison to other contemporary passive tags ICs. Eventually, a passive tag is developed using the frontend IC, a microcontroller, a temperature and a pressure sensor. A smart NFC device is used to readout the sensor data from the tag employing an Android-based application software. The measurement results demonstrate the full passive operational capability. The IC is suitable for low-power and low-cost industrial or biomedical battery-less sensor applications. A figure-of-merit (FOM) is proposed in this paper which is taken as a reference for comparison with other related state-of-the-art researches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RFID-Based Sensors for IoT Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Improving Efficiency of Passive RFID Tag Anti-Collision Protocol Using Dynamic Frame Adjustment and Optimal Splitting
Sensors 2018, 18(4), 1185; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18041185
Received: 27 January 2018 / Revised: 5 March 2018 / Accepted: 14 March 2018 / Published: 12 April 2018
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Abstract
Radio frequency identification is a wireless communication technology, which enables data gathering and identifies recognition from any tagged object. The number of collisions produced during wireless communication would lead to a variety of problems including unwanted number of iterations and reader-induced idle slots,
[...] Read more.
Radio frequency identification is a wireless communication technology, which enables data gathering and identifies recognition from any tagged object. The number of collisions produced during wireless communication would lead to a variety of problems including unwanted number of iterations and reader-induced idle slots, computational complexity in terms of estimation as well as recognition of the number of tags. In this work, dynamic frame adjustment and optimal splitting are employed together in the proposed algorithm. In the dynamic frame adjustment method, the length of frames is based on the quantity of tags to yield optimal efficiency. The optimal splitting method is conceived with smaller duration of idle slots using an optimal value for splitting level M o p t , where (M > 2), to vary slot sizes to get the minimal identification time for the idle slots. The application of the proposed algorithm offers the advantages of not going for the cumbersome estimation of the quantity of tags incurred and the size (number) of tags has no effect on its performance efficiency. Our experiment results show that using the proposed algorithm, the efficiency curve remains constant as the number of tags varies from 50 to 450, resulting in an overall theoretical gain in the efficiency of 0.032 compared to system efficiency of 0.441 and thus outperforming both dynamic binary tree slotted ALOHA (DBTSA) and binary splitting protocols. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RFID-Based Sensors for IoT Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Near-Field Chipless Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) Sensing and Identification System with Switching Reading
Sensors 2018, 18(4), 1148; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18041148
Received: 8 March 2018 / Revised: 4 April 2018 / Accepted: 5 April 2018 / Published: 9 April 2018
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Abstract
A chipless radio-frequency identification (chipless-RFID) and sensing system, where tags are read by proximity (near-field) through a switch, is presented. The tags consist of a set of identical resonant elements (split-ring resonators or SRRs), printed or etched at predefined and equidistant positions, forming
[...] Read more.
A chipless radio-frequency identification (chipless-RFID) and sensing system, where tags are read by proximity (near-field) through a switch, is presented. The tags consist of a set of identical resonant elements (split-ring resonators or SRRs), printed or etched at predefined and equidistant positions, forming a linear chain, each SRR providing a bit of information. The logic state (‘1’ or ‘0’) associated with each resonator depends on whether it is present or not in the predefined position. The reader is an array of power splitters used to feed a set of SRR-loaded transmission lines (in equal number to the number of resonant elements, or bits, of the tag). The feeding (interrogation) signal is a harmonic (single-tone) signal tuned to a frequency in the vicinity of the fundamental resonance of the SRRs. The set of SRR-loaded lines must be designed so that the corresponding SRRs are in perfect alignment with the SRRs of the tag, provided the tag is positioned on top of the reader. Thus, in a reading operation, as long as the tag is very close to the reader, the SRRs of the tag modify (decrease) the transmission coefficient of the corresponding reader line (through electromagnetic coupling between both SRRs), and the amplitude of the output signal is severely reduced. Therefore, the identification (ID) code of the tag is contained in the amplitudes of the output signals of the SRR-loaded lines, which can be inferred sequentially by means of a switching system. Unlike previous chipless-RFID systems based on near-field and sequential bit reading, the tags in the proposed system can be merely positioned on top of the reader, conveniently aligned, without the need to mechanically place them across the reader. Since tag reading is only possible if the tag is very close to the reader, this system can be also used as a proximity sensor with applications such as target identification. The proposed chipless-RFID and sensing approach is validated by reading a designed 4-bit tag. For identification purposes, this system is of special interest in applications where a low number of bits suffice, and tag reading by proximity is acceptable (or even convenient). Applications mostly related to secure paper, particularly involving a limited number of items (e.g., exams, ballots, etc.), in order to provide authenticity and avoid counterfeiting, are envisaged. As a proximity sensor, the system may be of use in detecting and distinguishing different targets in applications such as smart packaging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RFID-Based Sensors for IoT Applications)
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Open AccessArticle An RFID-Based Smart Nest Box: An Experimental Study of Laying Performance and Behavior of Individual Hens
Sensors 2018, 18(3), 859; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18030859
Received: 7 February 2018 / Revised: 6 March 2018 / Accepted: 13 March 2018 / Published: 14 March 2018
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Abstract
This study designed a radio-frequency identification (RFID)-based Internet of Things (IoT) platform to create the core of a smart nest box. At the sensing level, we have deployed RFID-based sensors and egg detection sensors. A low-frequency RFID reader is installed in the bottom
[...] Read more.
This study designed a radio-frequency identification (RFID)-based Internet of Things (IoT) platform to create the core of a smart nest box. At the sensing level, we have deployed RFID-based sensors and egg detection sensors. A low-frequency RFID reader is installed in the bottom of the nest box and a foot ring RFID tag is worn on the leg of individual hens. The RFID-based sensors detect when a hen enters or exits the nest box. The egg-detection sensors are implemented with a resistance strain gauge pressure sensor, which weights the egg in the egg-collection tube. Thus, the smart nest box makes it possible to analyze the laying performance and behavior of individual hens. An evaluative experiment was performed using an enriched cage, a smart nest box, web camera, and monitoring console. The hens were allowed 14 days to become accustomed to the experimental environment before monitoring began. The proposed IoT platform makes it possible to analyze the egg yield of individual hens in real time, thereby enabling the replacement of hens with egg yield below a pre-defined level in order to meet the overall target egg yield rate. The results of this experiment demonstrate the efficacy of the proposed RFID-based smart nest box in monitoring the egg yield and laying behavior of individual hens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RFID-Based Sensors for IoT Applications)
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Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle Moving Object Localization Based on UHF RFID Phase and Laser Clustering
Sensors 2018, 18(3), 825; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18030825
Received: 16 January 2018 / Revised: 2 March 2018 / Accepted: 6 March 2018 / Published: 9 March 2018
PDF Full-text (2396 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) offers a way to identify objects without any contact. However, positioning accuracy is limited since RFID neither provides distance nor bearing information about the tag. This paper proposes a new and innovative approach for the localization of moving object
[...] Read more.
RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) offers a way to identify objects without any contact. However, positioning accuracy is limited since RFID neither provides distance nor bearing information about the tag. This paper proposes a new and innovative approach for the localization of moving object using a particle filter by incorporating RFID phase and laser-based clustering from 2d laser range data. First of all, we calculate phase-based velocity of the moving object based on RFID phase difference. Meanwhile, we separate laser range data into different clusters, and compute the distance-based velocity and moving direction of these clusters. We then compute and analyze the similarity between two velocities, and select K clusters having the best similarity score. We predict the particles according to the velocity and moving direction of laser clusters. Finally, we update the weights of the particles based on K clusters and achieve the localization of moving objects. The feasibility of this approach is validated on a Scitos G5 service robot and the results prove that we have successfully achieved a localization accuracy up to 0.25 m. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RFID-Based Sensors for IoT Applications)
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Open AccessArticle A Novel Passive Wireless Sensing Method for Concrete Chloride Ion Concentration Monitoring
Sensors 2017, 17(12), 2871; https://doi.org/10.3390/s17122871
Received: 7 November 2017 / Revised: 7 December 2017 / Accepted: 7 December 2017 / Published: 11 December 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (4845 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper, a novel approach for concrete chloride ion concentration measuring based on passive and wireless sensor tag is proposed. The chloride ion sensor based on RFID communication protocol is consisting of an energy harvesting and management circuit, a low dropout voltage
[...] Read more.
In this paper, a novel approach for concrete chloride ion concentration measuring based on passive and wireless sensor tag is proposed. The chloride ion sensor based on RFID communication protocol is consisting of an energy harvesting and management circuit, a low dropout voltage regulator, a MCU, a RFID tag chip and a pair of electrodes. The proposed sensor harvests energy radiated by the RFID reader to power its circuitry. To improve the stability of power supply, a three-stage boost rectifier is customized to rectify the harvested power into dc power and step-up the voltage. Since the measured data is wirelessly transmitted, it contains miscellaneous noises which would decrease the accuracy of measuring. Thus, in this paper, the wavelet denoising method is adopted to denoise the raw data. Besides, a monitoring software is developed to display the measurement results in real-time. The measurement results indicate that the proposed passive sensor tag can achieve a reliable communication distance of 16.3 m and can reliably measure the chloride ion concentration in concrete. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RFID-Based Sensors for IoT Applications)
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