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RFID Systems Course at UCLA Fall 2005

The course will introduce state-of-art in RFID systems technology with specific focus on designing and analyzing RFID systems. Hardware and middleware issues will be discussed. Middleware technology in the context of developing applications will be presented and discussed. Standardization efforts in industry and their current applications will be presented. Applications of RFID in various industries including supply chain, retail, homeland security, manufacturing, etc. will be discussed. Industry leaders will be invited to give guest lectures. Advanced topics on RFID and their corresponding research challenges will be discussed. Students will work on hands-on projects in RFID using equipment in the RFID@WINMEC Lab .  Some students will get the opportunity to investigate the WinRFID Version 1.0 software developed in the UCLA-WINMEC RFID Lab. Instructor for this course is Dr. Rajit Gadh .

For further information contact: rfidcourse@winmec.ucla.edu

RFID Course Fall 2004 Website

If you would like to sponsor a group course project, please email rfid@winmec.ucla.edu

Upcoming Projects

If your company is interested in sponsoring a project, please email us rfid@winmec.ucla.edu

1. RFID in Healthcare
Healthcare is a multi-billion dollar industry in the United States . Some of the major expenses include paperwork, doctor time, staff time, the check-in/check out of patients, etc. It is an industry with severely bloated costs, to the point that healthcare is becoming unaffordable for most Americans. RFID allows the tracking people and equipment in a hospital and reduction of wait time for things to happen. RFID could well be the infrastructural silver bullet that this industry needs. This project will address the various functions within the healthare/medical industry where RFID can be used to cut costs and improve efficiency and productivity in the system.


2. E-pedigree via RFID

Southern California is a strong region for the biotech and drug industry. The state of California has a mandate out for e-pedigree that will start in 2007. The state of Florida also has a mandate for pedigree in drug shipments. This research project (search on google) will investigate what all states in the U.S. and the federal govt (FDA) are doing for requiring or standardizing e-pedigree. What is technically needed to achieve e-pedigree? What models are working (or can work)? Who are the companies leading in this endeavor?

3. RFID, Wireless Tracking and Wireless Sensor Technology in Utility Industry
Utilities used to be a slow moving sector but with present deregulation, they have to compete. Utilities must manage a vast infrastructure that is remote, thus they often need to get the status of the information of their infrastructure (requiring sensors), need to track their equipment (requiring RFID), requiring tracking of their consignments (requiring active RFID), etc. This project will outline the following: who are the major utilities in the country that would be interested in RFID, who is working on RFID currently, what are the possible applications, what would be the potential ROI, and who are the key people in the various utilities, etc.

4. RFID in manufacturing
RFID is a technology that can track and trace products as they move physically. The automotive assembly plant represents an environment where sub-assemblies, parts, tools, machines and people are moving around. Tracking any one of these with a certain level of precision would have benefits such as reduced down time, increased quality, etc. This study will investigate how RFID can be applied to in-factory manufacturing process and what benefits would accrue. Companies are currently trying our pilots or performing studies; they should be researched and any findings should be reported.

5. Security and privacy
a. Analyze how issues are raised.
b. Security and Privacy application cases facilitated by RFID.
c. RFID security and privacy application concerns.
d. RFID security and privacy (NOT APPLICATION) issues and algorithms/architectures.
e. FIPS security architecture – How it can be applied to DoD’s RFID requirements
f. Solution?

6. RFID for automotive industry
a. Application cases
b. Technology used and is it used independently (or used in conjunction with say barcode)
c. Was it a pilot or a small/full scale enablement
d. Benefits seen
e. Any reengineering (infrastructure / systems) resorted to achieve the benefits
f. Concerns about cost and ROI
g. Does the application support internal processes or only logistics
h. Plans to extend it to value chain partners

7. RF radio study.
a. Analyze radio field reactions of a reader-tag operation(LF, HF and UHF)
b. Find out major/minor factors that affect performance of tags. Factors include human body, packaging material, liquid, metal, plastic, wall, wood, stacked boxes and frames etc.
c. Radio wave distortion/distribution maps are desired.
d. Both theoretical results and practical results are desired.
e. Using finite element analysis if applicable.

8. Wireless Technologies in Industrial Automation application
Industries are increasingly embracing wireless technologies for telecommunication in a wide range of applications like Preventive Maintenance, remote monitoring and control. The project will investigate the penetration of wireless technologies in different industrial applications. Different requirements of industrial applications with regard to communication will be studied and the appropriateness of a particular wireless technology will be explored.

9. Asset Tracking and Container Management
Tracking your assets while they are being shipped can help streamline your business process and make it more efficient. Transportation of goods through shipping typically involves interaction between 4-6 different agents/players including Transportation Lines, Yard Management and Shipping Lines. The project will attempt to study the different agents involved in the shipping process in detail and their specific roles. Further, the project will investigate how goods and assets in transit are tracked by these different agents, and whether the tracking information is made available to consumers. The state of the technologies used by these agents will also be explored.

10. RFID-based Assisted Living
Escalating cost of healthcare in hospices is forcing people to consider alternative healthcare arrangements where technology is being used to assist living. Technology-Assisted living chiefly ensures that the person concerned, is taking medications on time, following regular food habits and doing exercises. Further in case of emergency, like heart beat drop/escalation, calling up a healthcare specialist. Technology is also being used to help people with frequent memory loss problems, e.g. people with Alzheimer’s disease. RFID complemented with sensor technology is a key enabler of technology assisted living. The project will determine the current status of this application of RFID and investigate the different issues faced by this application.

11. RFID data translation and transformation.
Raw data captured by middleware can not be directly consumed by most enterprise application. Thus, RFID data translation and transformation are needed. Data translation is the way which user can assign a particular tag a meaning. Data transformation is transform original RFID data format to another format based on request.
a. Using C#
b. Build raw RFID data translation module
c. Build raw RFID data transformation module
d. Raw RFID data is from MSMQ. The data structure of raw data is given.
e. Output is based on client (MSMQ, XML, DB)

12. EPCIS service implementation
Electronic Product Code is the way to change current supply chain. EPCIS is defined in EPCGlobal Specification. Follow the specification, implement EPCIS, Provides both web services interface and native interface.
a. Using C#
b. Service can be either windows service or COM+

13. Local ONS service implementation
ONS is used for lookup information associated with particular tag. Implement Local ONS Service, provide interfaces for client connection. Provide framework interface for connecting to global ONS. Provide interface for trade partner register enterprise/product/shipment etc information.
a. Using C#
b. Service can be either windows service or COM+

14. Web based demonstration of RFID in supply chain.
a. Use ASP.Net to build web based supply chain application based EPC technology.
b. Based on Microsoft opensource project(will be given)
c. Consume data from WinRFID middleware.
d. Real-time alert/track products/inventory.

15. RFID hardware product survey and Solution Calculator (hardware selection, solution choose)
a. Investigate in full bands including LF, HF, UHF, VHF, Microware, UWB, passive/active and other special RFID hardware and tags.
b. List product specifications, images etc
c. Application categorization
d. Hardware selection model with cost considered
e. Web based application to guide user to choose hardware.

16. RFID for personnel tracking experiment
a. Advantages/Disadvantages of Passive/Active RFID technology for personnel tracking.
b. Test different tags performance.
c. Test best antennas/readers positioning/deployment configuration.
d. Find out best tag positioning and carriers(Wristband, Name Badge, Access Card etc).
e. Find out how crowd affects tracking results.
f. Study on how human body affects radio field and RFID performance.
g. Suggest improvements.

17. Remote Asset Monitoring Systems
The objective of the project will be to create a remote wireless sensing slave node which can gather and send sensor data (temperature, humidity, vibration, GPS etc) using different wireless interfaces. Power management and different data-reporting/statistical techniques will be investigated and tested. The wireless interfaces that need to be supported include Bluetooth, WiFi and Zigbee.

18. RFID and Parking
Focused topic is “how to apply RFID to the parking industry to solve the problems the industry is suffering.”
a. Examine recent researches and application of RFID (and e-Commerce) to the parking industry
b. Study technical feasibility of the application models, i.e. online payment, search and reservation.
c. Identify challenges and risks of the models

19. RFID for Distribution (Case study and Design)
a. Research on existing inventory and distribution processes
b. Business model and operation model design
c. Implementation