Sunday, January 13, 2008

New RFID sensor for NXT

LEGO announced a new OEM agreement, with a new partner from Austria (Codatex), to develop and market new sensors that integrate with MINDSTORMS® NXT robotics system.

As it happened with HiTechnic, this licensing agreement, gives Codatex access to official LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT sensor housings, for look and style seamlessly integration, as well as it happens with the software programming environment.

The first product is a RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) sensor, whose main characteristics are:

  • Reads 125 kHZ transponders of type EM4102
  • 5 bytes number, i.e. 240 combinations (i.e. 1.099.511.627.775 numbers)
  • The reader has three modes of reading: (Single read, Continuous read, Stop)
  • Reading distance up to 3 cm depending on transponder size and orientation
  • Transparent front cap with LED signal at detection of a transponder
  • Auto power off for saving battery power
  • Firmware upgrade feature for future enhancements (saving hardware cost)

Package includes one sensor and two tags (transponders) for a target price of 49,95€ (excl. taxes), but more can be bought for an extra amount.

With actual firmware version, it wouldn't be possible to write data into the actual transponders, but it will be possible to download later a firmware upgrade for a small amount.

This technology is openning new possibilities and applications to the NXT platform, like
access/security control, programming different actions upon identification of different transponders, etc...

See demo videos below, and load more from Codatex NXT 'RFID' videos page.

These can also be easily found, searching for NXT Codatex at YouTube.
Find more related info at The NXT Step blog's RFID tagged posts.

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