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M2M Teledesk

Development of a lean infrastructure system for the indoor location of objects and people, compatible with current smart phone technology

Fast facts

About the project

The aim of the project is the development of an indoor localization system for objects and people in logistical processes. Unlike systems available on the market, the system to be developed should require no or only little infrastructure, i.e. locally installed hardware and compatibility with smartphones by using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology. With respect to hardware, the system will consist of newly developed BLE-enabled tags and a small number of stationary gateway nodes. Tags can be attached to objects to be localized (i.e. pallets, returnable containers) whereas gateways function as a link to a (local) network. In addition, smartphones may act as a mobile gateway node.

The tags will establish a mesh network, perform mutual proximity and signal strength measurements (RSSI) and forward the data to the gateways. On the software side, a mesh networking approach will be developed and implemented, which will allow for an energy-efficient transmission of data packages within the network. 

Additionally, a cooperative localization algorithm, which estimates the position of all tags based on all inter-node RSSI measurements, will be developed.

By designing the new tags based on BLE technology, a long battery life, high transmission range as well as compatibility with current smartphone technology can be achieved.
Unlike other radio technologies, like WiFi or ultra-wideband, BLE allows using radio nodes with low capacity batteries while achieving long operating life. In addition, an energy harvesting approach will be employed in order to extend the battery life up to several years.

Figure 1 shows the communication structure of the planned system. The BLE tags and optionally installed anchors (tags with initially known position) form a mesh network. The localization of nodes is performed based on inter-node RSSI measurements between all nodes. The measurement data is forwarded to a stationary gateway or a smartphone acting as a mobile gateway and collected at a central server, which determines the positions of all BLE tags.

Funded by

AiF / Federal Ministery forEconoimic Affairs an d Energy

Funding-ID

ZF4038204ED6

Cooperation / Project Partner

  • Fachhochschule Dortmund
  • m2m Germany GmbH

Contact & Team

Notes and references

Photo credits

  • Fachhochschule Dortmund | Matthias Kleinen

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