In November 2008, Peoplevox started working with the Ministry of Defence to help track pallets using RFID (radio frequency identification).
In 2009, Peoplevox had delivered a complete solution including:
>> Custom-built rugged RFID reader for the front of the forklift truck, used to read/scan the pallets as you pick them. The prototype is shown below, before ruggedisation and custom fixings.
>> Fully functional prototype mobile portal/reader combination, used for example when offloading pallets from a Hercules into a war zone where time if of the essence and laser barcoding is no good as this can be seen from a long distance.
>> Custom fit-for-purpose encapsulated RFID tags. These were embedded into the collapsable pallet base. The main benefits here were that you did not need line of sight to read the tags, they can be read even when base is covered in mud and they can be automatically read whilst they are moved at high speed. See the video at the end.
>> Software that enabled writing to and reading from RFID tags, was configued to read only the pallet being picked and displaying an image of the contents on a small Motorola MC70 device screen or a PC.
The video below was taken in an aircraft hanger where the lighting was almost non-existant; it does however show how 100% read rate of the tags was achieved independent of pallet contents or speed of forklift passing the portal.