Introduction: Checking in Luggage With RFID for TfCD

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) is a technology which can be used in different fields. In this Instructable we will show how RFID could be used in the future to improve the checking in procedure at an airport whilst checking in luggage. This instructable is made on behalf of the course TfCD (Technology for Concept Design.)

Short explanation of the future scenario and the implementation of the idea and the technology: In the future RFID tags will be embedded in all traveling bags for flying. When buying the bag, some basic information (which cannot be changed by the user) is included on the RFID Tag. For example, the dimensions of the bag and manufacturer. However the user is able to put own information on the RFID Tag. For example name, residence, etc.. So when someone will fly in the future the information on the Tag can partly be changed by the user. So in the future, when passengers check in at home, they have to upload their flight information and personal data on the RFID Tag as well. As a result, the bag doesn’t need to be labeled at the airport which will save a lot of time at the airport.

Step 1:

Watch the video to understand what we're going to build!

Explanation of the context:

The RFID Tags can be placed inside of a bag, so your bag has its own 'ID' instead of a barcode. This Tag contains information about the dimensions of your bag, your personal info and your flight information.

The RFID reader can be imagined as if it was placed at an drop-off point of luggage at the airport. When you're at an airport and you want to dropp your luggage, you bring it to this drop-off point. Because of the RFID reader and the RFID Tag, it is no longer necessary to print an label, because all the information is already on your RFID Tag.

Explanation of what you see:

The drop-off point asks 'Please place your bag'. When you place your Tag (you're bag with the RFID tag) it shows you all the information: The size of your luggage, personal info and flight information. Because the size of your luggage is already on the RFID tag, scanning the luggage for dimensions isn't necessary anymore. Because the flight information is already on the RFID tag, a printed label isn't necessary anymore. Both result in a faster process for the passenger and a simpler drop-off point.

After the information is read, the weight of the luggage is weighted. (To demonstrate this, a random weight is added). If the bag 'weights' more than 20 kg, it will ask you to remove luggage or pay additional fee. If it is or is less than 20kg, your luggage will be accepted.

Step 2: Gather All Materials to Get Started

- Arduino

- Computer (Arduino installed, usb port)

- USB cable

- Bread board

- MF-RC522 RFID reader

- 3 or more RFID tags or cards

- 2x red LEDs

- 2x green LEDs

- 2x resistors (220 Ohm)

- Wires

Step 3: Connecting the Arduino and Building the Circuit

First connect the arduino with the computer with the usb cable. Then, let the cables connect the RFID reader with the arduino using the bread board. The circuit and how to connect the wires can be seen in the picture and the image above.

Step 4: Change the Code to Your Preferences

A. Reading the ID codes of the RFID chips

First download the Addicore RFID library from their site:

Download and open the file: Addicore_RFID_Example.

With the RFID reader you can read the identification code from the
individual tags. A sort of database is needed in order to see information corresponding to the tag.

First the identification codes from the tags are needed. This can be done with the Addicore library and the Addicore_RFID_Example code. When you scan the tag it shows the identification code in the serial monitor. (see the first picture)

Now open the Bag_tag_final_code This code is based on the Addicore_RFID_Example code.

In this code you can see that an if statement is started to check whether the identification of the tag corresponds with the identification in the code which is if(str[0] == 6) in the code. It checks whether the identification code of the tag is 6. When is does the code continues in that if statement, if it doesn’t the code continues to check the else if statements for the other numbers.(second picture) In our code the flight information is coded for different tags so when a particular tag is scanned, the serial monitor shows the corresponding flight information.(third picture) In the real situation the bag is weighed and this weight should be added to the flight information. We simulated this by using a random number between 15 and 25. When the bag is heavier than 20 kg red leds will blink and the serial monitor gives a message that your bag is too heavy. When your bag is 20 kg or less green leds will blink and the monitor shows a message that your bag is accepted and you can proceed to security. When an unidentified tag is presented it shows a message that the bag is not recognized. (fourth picture)

At last it has a delay when the bag is claimed or when a passenger wants to repack. Then program loops and asks to place a bag. (fifth picture)

B. Change the information which will be shown when you read the RFID.

You can do this as follows:

When you want to show other information when you scan the RFID tag you first need to know the identification code of the tag. This can be done as explained before with the Addicore_RFID_Example code and change the if(str[0] == 6) to the number of the tag. Then in the if and else if statements the information or actions can be changed to whatever you like.

Step 5: Test It!

Now Upload the final code which you adjusted and test you different Tags with RFID chips in it! Don't forget to match the RFID tag identification numbers with the if(str[0] == Tag number)

Step 6: How to Test Further

The next step in our project could be creation a similar setting and using a type of RFID which allows two-way communication like NFC. Then we could really write the information (bag dimensions, personal information, flight information, etc.) on the Tag instead of reading the ID-code from the RFID Tag and link the ID-code to certain information.