Using LIPS for scientific research work and developing own RTLS algorithms

Indoor local positioning is of great importance for scientific work where researchers are evaluating and developing new triangulation or trilateration methods that lead to better RTLS accuracy.

Using LIPS for scientific (research) work

One of such stories comes from Faculty of Computer and Information Science (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia). Namely, a Master's student finishing his study programme approached our MULTILUX team and expressed his interest to use LIPS as part of his Master's thesis in the RTLS application field. In the course of developing his Master's thesis, he first intended to conduct an experiment mainly to better understand how LIPS devices work when used for indoor local positioning. Of course we were happy to provide him with LIPS devices for this purpose and we let him exploit them as much as needed.

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In order to conduct the predefined experiment, LIPS anchors needed to be mounted in the target environment. LIPS anchors are those infrastructural devices that permit LIPS tag being tracked, and we normally suggest to mount them as high as possible (i.e. below the ceiling and facing downwards). Maybe this was the main reason why our student decided to set the system up in the faculty cafeteria and proceeded by mounting six LIPS anchors.

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In this environment, targets having required tracking were actually food carts. Two tags were therefore placed on a food cart at two different heights, and one tag remained statically placed approximately in the middle of the cafeteria.

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The goal of the experiment was indeed very clear: getting familiar with LIPS devices' properties, understanding environment (room) influence, and determining environmental effects on the RTLS accuracy of LIPS tags.

The food cart was moved around the cafeteria on a set of predefined paths and at a constant speed in one and at faster pace in another iteration. The path was always a set of linear trajectories between two or more points. These points were marked on the floor, and their distances were measured using an accurate laser meter.

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Point calculations were projected in a Euclidean manner. Ranging and accelerometer data were obtained from LIPS tags using the LIPS API for MATLAB which enabled a quick and soft start with a short learning curve.

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The analysis shown above depicts the statically placed LIPS tag and lets us know that multipath can be problematic, and although anticipated still remains somewhat of a challenge. Multipath occurs when the distance between a tag and an anchor is not the shortest path (distance) and is the result of a signal encountering different obstacles and reflecting from these. The firmware of LIPS tags of course includes both hardware and software implementations that eliminate multipath as much as possible, yet there are many situations where this is less possible and accuracy may therefore somewhat vary.

We are still very excited that LIPS was used for such thourough research work and will be credited in our student's Master's thesis. Apparently, we are not the only ones excited since this is what our student stated happily:

LIPS' ease of use, clear purpose and accurate navigation enables a wide range of possible uses. My peers and colleagues were impressed over the use of such technology in real life scenarios ranging from warehousing, retail and even usage in theaters, art galleries and generative art in general. Overall, it was a fun experiment and I am looking forward to use LIPS devices and technology in the future - I foresee great use of these devices in everyday life.

We agree with our student that indoor local positioning takes a new turn with LIPS tehnology, greatly improving and enhancing current standards. Of course, we simply must give credits to researchers that occasionaly approach us with the aim of tearing down LIPS and trying to find new RTLS algorithms with a single purpose- to make your LIPS experience more pleasant and your RTLS-enabled app more accurate.

Would you like to find out more about LIPS?

see LIPS webpage