Mobile robots equipped with RFID readers can automate data center thermal, humidity and pressure monitoring by acquiring data from battery-free sensors.

We’ve already discussed about the potential of battery-free RFID sensors for DCIM applications in data centers. All those companies already using RFID for tracing&tracking data center assets can leverage the existing RFID infrastructure – mainly RFID readers – to read not only identification tags but also sensor tags.

Battery-free sensors can be installed either at asset level or rack level – even a number of tags at different heights to address the fact that there are different temperature levels.

This allows for different data processing systems depending on the selected set up. While single sensor tag for each asset allows a direct association of data, it requires a higher investment. Using sensors to monitor ‘areas’ allow DCIM system users to associate sensor data to the assets inside the area of the representative sensor, having to change that association every time the asset is moved to a new location. However, this approach requires a lower initial investment in sensor tags.

One of the biggest issues with RFID sensors was the read range. RFID sensor systems needed to either have a reader antenna per rack – which can mean an expensive infrastructure – or having staff get the data with mobile readers – meaning human cost plus not having real time data.

Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs) or Rovers

Rovers with embedded RFID readers can help automate sensor tag data collection. Read a good example of an RFID robot designed for store inventory by PAL Robotics.

Data center aisles are a more predictable landscape for robots that can ‘patrol’ predefined areas. As these mobile readers pass by the racks, battery-free sensors get the necessary power to communicate sensor data to the RFID reader.

These readers can then be connected to the local network via WiFi or similar means or just store data until it is connected to the proper database (via Ethernet, USB or any other means), depending on the strategy being followed for data monitoring.

Stockbot-like robots can help monitor data center

Stockbot-like robots can help monitor data center

Lower RFID infrastructure requirements to start monitoring temperature, humidity and pressure within your data center with battery-free – and thus, maintenance free – sensors.

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