Small Form Factor RFID Applicator
Award last edited on: 3/2/2018

Sponsored Program
Awarding Agency
Total Award Amount
Award Phase
Solicitation Topic Code
Principal Investigator
Jose W Cortez

Company Information

Metis Technology Solutions Inc

2309 Renard Place Se Unit 200
Albuquerque, NM 87106
   (505) 299-1509
Location: Single
Congr. District: 01
County: Bernalillo

Phase I

Contract Number: NNX17CA41P
Start Date: 6/9/2017    Completed: 12/8/2017
Phase I year
Phase I Amount
The proposed development of a small form factor Astrobee dedicated RFID label applicator will allow current and future free flying vehicles to place RFID labels assisting in logistics and asset tracking. Metis Technology Solutions proposes the development of an RFID label applicator designed to fulfill the Astrobee operational requirements, payload interface requirements, as well as satisfy JSC PSRP requirements for safety. The unit is designed to have a replaceable cartridge with 100 Alien Technologies ALN-9640 Higgs-3 RFID labels. Operationally the unit is first installed, Astrobee then propels and aligns the vehicle to the target asset/surface to be labeled once there a pitch maneuver aligns the label applicator with the assistance of integrated cameras. The unit then exerts a thrust force on the target as the applicator quickly applies the adhesive backed RFID label. A proof of concept early prototype shall be developed as a Phase I deliverable in conjunction with the findings report. The prototype is to demonstrate the extraction of the RFID label from the adhesive release liner, and transfer to a target surface with sufficient force to apply the label but minimize transient inputs to the Astrobee flight controller.

Potential NASA Commercial Applications:
(Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words) The development of the small form factor RFID label applicator is intended to be utilized for the purpose of small free flyer applications. Alternatively with minimal repackaging of the form factor the unit can be reconfigured as an end effector on a robotic arm assembly. For an alternate use case the RFID label applicator could easily utilize non RFID labels. These labels could contain printed information to help astronauts identify items or be used for science in the sense of placing visual cues such as fiducial markers often utilized by computer vision based systems. The NASA roadmap is focuses on future human space habitats and long duration space missions which require asset tracking and labeling. The small form factor RFID applicator can satisfy these future needs.

Potential NON-NASA Commercial Applications:
(Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words) Additional application use cases beyond NASA missions consist of commercial level shipping and receiving, and manufacturing. Many large manufacturing entities operate on Just-in-Time (JIT) inventory architecture. This model only works with extensive asset tracking infrastructure which includes a large amount of automation and robotic systems. The core unit can be reconfigured to integrate into product picking robots or facilities with dynamic inventory which evolves through manufacturing processes. Another benefit to an item of this form factor is the use of placing labels or RFID information on hazardous products or in hazardous environments such as containers with biomedical or toxic contents.

Technology Taxonomy Mapping:
(NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.) Fasteners/Decouplers Inventory Management/Warehousing Machines/Mechanical Subsystems Robotics (see also Control & Monitoring; Sensors)

Phase II

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Start Date: 00/00/00    Completed: 00/00/00
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