View Full Version : Free stuff free stuff free stuff :p

08-18-2010, 01:10 PM
Hey Everyone,

Okay, lets have a fun not so official contest. As you may or may not know we have a new RFID Experimenters Kit out. It is with a new jazzy RedBee reader that can operate as a slave or independently programmed device. It also has Xbee. I know right, Xbee?! On an RFID reader, get out. But it gets better, The new kit has Windows 7 Login. It is a pretty cool PC mod.

As with all new kits we need to do some cool PR stuff to get the word out. We are partnering with the usual suspects, but I think our hard core roboticists in the community should also be the first to play with some FREE STUFF.

Here is what I'm thinking. Those of you who are interested and can pull yourselves away from your robots for a few hours can pitch for one of the free kits. We need pictures and video of some cool home setups with the RFID login. So here is the "contest" the people with the raddest, coolest, prettiest home setups AND cool pitches about how you want to integrate RFID login to your geek control center will "win" one of the kits. We will give out 5 kits total. (Just for USA residents for now.)

It would be cool if people did something flashy or geeky with the login, like make custom login audio, cool screen backgrounds, or did some robotics stuff being fired off one of the I/O pins on the reader. Maybe a bank of red mood lights around the desk goes on or off. A robot waves hello from the corner. Smoke machines and naked parade would be cool too. Think creative and fun geek cred.

Feel free to pitch secondary ideas also that you might want to do with a reader. We would love to hear creative ideas from all walks. It doesn't HAVE to be the login. We are just concentrating on that for now.

The MAIN thing is that you have to promise to deliver on pics and video of your creation. That is the deal, free stuff for cool PR material :)

Choosing the people we send one too is totally random and subjective so please don't get upset if you don't get one.

Here is some link info:

Product page: http://www.trossenrobotics.com/p/RFID-experimenters-kit.aspx
Reader page: http://www.trossenrobotics.com/p/REDBEE-Wireless-rfid-reader.aspx
Video: scroll down on product page

Those that want to pitch just reply in this thread with your ideas and any pertinent pics of your geek command center (computer desk).



08-18-2010, 01:50 PM
I almost banned you as a spammer for the title alone.

08-18-2010, 03:07 PM
It's cool when you work at a company, you can spam your own forums!

08-18-2010, 03:23 PM
What is the deadline for posting your idea? I would love to but I need to run some things by the significant other first- If I made the changes I am thinking of doing to the apartment for this project without at least running them by her first I'd be in the doghouse for a month!

08-18-2010, 03:47 PM
Dang it, Too little, too late.. I already made my own RFID door lock system (Used the Parallax Serial USB Reader). Does both Deadbolt & Electric strike, Keypad, Xbee, and a Passive IR for turning on the lights outside.. Oh, and a relay to handle the doorbell when people hit the * key. :) I need to post all my projects I've done for this summer.

Thanks, Connor

08-19-2010, 07:37 PM
Here's my project pitch. A faux biometric hand scanner to login to my workstation. Upon placing your hand on the "scanner", bright blue leds will pulsate from beneath the frosted glass pane and a normally red led mounted on the frame will briefly turn green, and a piezo speaker will beep, indicating a valid RF scan. Additionally, a LCD display will scroll, with the message "Scan complete...Welcome (username)!" A valid scan will also trigger a pin turning on my desklamp connected to an Adafruit powerswitch tail.
Whilst all that is going on, the RFID kit is logging me into Windows 7 Ultimate, which I already have installed. A robotic voice, of course, will welcome me over the computer speakers.






08-19-2010, 10:23 PM
Manny has a kit with his name on it now :)

Um, no deadline I guess. We will just post that it's closed when it's closed. It is a casual thing.

Conner: You are banned! lol Think of another idea maybe :) You cannot have too much technology in your home!

08-19-2010, 10:24 PM
Oh, Manny, you'll have to learn how to focus the camera though! :P

08-21-2010, 12:02 PM
Hey Guys,

I don't have any pictures...

A friend of mine works at a local community college teaching physical fitness. Students are required to spend a certain amount of time in the gym working on the various machines. Using their current system, students come into the gym and sign into and out of a log book noting the time when they arrive and leave. A number of students have been caught either signing in for a friend, or signing in and leaving.

My idea is to start out by putting one reader at the door that will log in or out students as they swipe their cards. The cards would also pull up a picture of the student so that an attendant could make sure the student was who they say they are. You could also tie the system in to a turn style or pressure mat so that only one student can log in at a time, and the student has to be standing in a certain place in order to do so. This would prevent a student from signing in using two cards. It could even be a laser thing tripped by walking through a threshold.

Future systems would have readers at the individual machines. In this way students could log their workouts and demonstrate how much time they are actually spending working out at the various stations as apposed to how much time they spend in the gym.

In anycase, seams like it could make the class more productive for the students in the least.


08-21-2010, 12:16 PM
Hey DB,

Sounds like a pretty ambitious project. Are you saying you want to do it? It would be cool as a proof of concept, but do you really want to maintain it as a live system after that? Someone would have to buy the tags for each new class. Pictures would have to be taken etc etc.

If you wanted to do a mock up version of it and document it with video, pics etc. I'm game. We would have to be careful of using kids images though I imagine.


08-21-2010, 12:26 PM
I was thinking start with proof of concept and then see if the college wants to take any part of it on.

Kelly was hoping the college could apply for a grant to pay for future implementation, and I figure the RFID cards could be recycled.


08-21-2010, 12:33 PM
If you can simulate it well enough and get a good write up on it with video and pics then I think it sounds good. PM me where to send a kit too.

08-21-2010, 06:38 PM
My first hobby is model trains and belong to a modular train club. Here is a possible idea.

My idea is by having the reader at the throat (single track) of the yard (multi track), with each car having it's own RFID tag. The cars are read as the locomotive pulls them across the reader, where the information can have them sorted properly. The cars can be tracked similar to when they tried using bar-codes on the real railroad cars.

However, I am not sure of how much interference there will be between the RFID and with the locomotive motors and/or with the DCC (Digital Command Control) systems though.


08-21-2010, 10:47 PM
New member here. I stumbled on to this site while doing some research on a few ideas I have been kicking around and thought I would throw my hat into this contest.

One idea revolves around teaching a young child(my son) a second language using tagged pictures. When he passes them over a reader, a program running on a pc displays a picture and gives audio feedback for the picture stating the word and using it in a sentence. Other modes would include having to recognize a spoken word and scanning the appropriate picture. A "Simon Says" mode where he would have to scan a series of pictures in the correct order, etc. Phase 2 of my implementation plan includes adding voice recognition to give additional feedback, well see how far I get with it. :)

A derivation of this idea would be a modified program for a relative of mine who has Alzheimer's. The idea with this one would be to help with name and face recognition retention. A tagged picture would be scanned, name would be said and a digitized video from the vast family archives or custom video would be played.

Have a few other ideas, but I need to get my feet wet with something and these kits look like just the thing. Time I put my programming skills to use on something other than my day job. ;)

Thanks in advance for your consideration.

p.s. What's the best method of posting pics of my geek command center?

09-08-2010, 01:09 AM
Given the cost of tags and the range of the scanner - I'd suggest you consider a web cam with fiducials (http://www.roborealm.com/help/Fiducial.php) or even the newest implementation of fiducials - the "2D Barcodes" that are supported by just about every smart phone going these days.

In fact - that would make both your solutions highly portable. They have more than enough power to implement the solutions you're looking for quickly and easily.

Just print the fiducial on the back or in the corner of the picture and you're set...

Anyway - not to take away from Matt's cool RFID - just a more obvious solution to your problem.

09-23-2011, 03:23 PM
Hello All,

I saw the contest posted on Amal Graafstra's website. I am currently coaching a small robotics club that includes elementary and secondary aged boys. They have devised a plan to use RFID to track hand washing in restaurants. None of the boys (or I) have experience with RFID, but I would like them to get hand's on experience with something like this. I thought this would be a great way to get some 'cool stuff' for them to actually work with. I would prefer to keep the details of their idea somewhat secret as this will be used at a competition and the boys don't want the idea 'borrowed' until after the competition. I can provide details for their RFID project offline if that is possible. This kit would be a very good way to inspire some very bright young men and help to keep their minds focused on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

These guys have no 'bat cave', but I can post a picture of the team at a later date.