Digital picking with inductive near-field positioning

IndLoc system detects objects using magnetic fields

© Fraunhofer IIS
IndLoc® positioning technology can recognize and locate objects in real time and in three dimensions.

To detect objects in a defined environment such as a storage rack or a goods delivery/collection area, our scientists have developed a solution using inductive near-field positioning. The solution makes it possible to passively locate objects in a defined area/volume precisely and in real time. This is achieved using a current-carrying conductor that encompasses an area of variable size and generates a weak alternating magnetic field in this area. The object to be located carries a small passive coil, similar to an RFID transponder. This “localization coil” generates a secondary magnetic field in the observed volume, which is captured by antennas and evaluated by the IndLoc system.

As a result, it is possible to capture with high precision when an object crosses a boundary and also the position, orientation and movement of the object to be located, without the need for costly active electronics. This method is useful in the picking or replenishing of goods, where the calculated posi- tioning data can be visualized, further processed or assigned to certain patterns. In this way, for example, previously defined actions such as advice or alarm messages can be triggered.

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