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Animal Record Management Using an Embedded RFID-Based System

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Effective Projects and Experiments in Instrumentation and Control

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

22.210.1 - 22.210.8



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Paper Authors


David Bowker

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David Bowker is currently working as an Embedded Application Engineer at a consumer electronics company in Nashville, TN. He received his BS degree in Computer Engineering Technology and MS degree in Engineering Technology from Middle Tennessee State University.

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Saleh M. Sbenaty Middle Tennessee State University

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Dr. Sbenaty is currently a Professor of Engineering Technology at Middle Tennessee State University. He received the B.S. degree in EE from Damascus University and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in EE from Tennessee Technological University. He is actively engaged in curriculum development for technological education. He has written and co-authored several industry-based case studies. He is also conducting research in the area of mass spectrometry, power electronics, lasers, and instrumentation.

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Mark Newton Johnson Equipass ID

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Mark Johnson is the founder and President of Equipass ID a sub-corporation of Newton RFID. He received a B.S. in Animal Science and Equine Husbandry from Middle Tennessee State University in 1992 and has spent a life time in the Horse Industry. Having co-founded two prior technology companies, Mr. Johnson's professional career includes performing the first micro- payment trials in a closed loop application utilizing RFID wristband technology in 2004 and later being the first company to offer RFID micro-payment solutions in a professional sports venue. His background in RFID technology combined with a passion for the horse industry lead to the creation and development of a read/write record management system for the animal industry. Mr. Johnson continues to develop complimentary technology solutions utilizing the collaborative talents of private industry, educational institutions and government entities.

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ANIMAL RECORD MANAGEMENT USING AN EMBEDDED RFID-BASED SYSTEMThe current paper describes the design and implementation of a Radio Frequency Identification(RFID) system that uses an embedded microchip in conjunction with an RFID reader for thepurpose of storing and retrieving pertinent animal information. The microchip is implanted intoan animal, with the initial focus on equine applications. It will be demonstrated that furtherdevelopments for using such a system in other animals is possible. While the use of RFIDtechnology for animal identification is not necessarily new, our application brings thefunctionality of storing and retrieving information directly into the microchip, which can beupdated whenever necessary. In addition, the larger memory capability of the current systemallows the storage of important medical information directly onto the RFID chip; hence, allowinga veterinarian the immediate access to vital information in case of emergencies. Typically, anRFID holds only an identification number that must be referenced to a database in order toretrieve the animal record. The current system, however, allows for the most importantinformation to be stored directly onto the microchip, such that it can be read instantly without theneed for any other referenced information. A handheld device is used to read and write theinformation to the microchip in a field or an office setting. This is very useful when time iscritically important or when the animal is in a remote location such that retrieving informationfrom an internet connected database is not possible.BackgroundAnimal records management is a big problem with no simple solution. Animals requirepaperwork, tests, and documentation on a regular basis, especially when traveling across statelines. To comply with local, state, and government laws there are many different medical testsrequired to show that the animal has been tested and vaccinated for any number of diseases. Theowner must show proof of ownership of the animal and that the animal is indeed the same onewhich is reflected on the paperwork. When focusing on the equine industry, many of the currentmeasures fall short and become cumbersome. Tags and branding are often out of the question asthese animals are used for show purposes and cannot have such measures in place.RFID tags to identify animals are not a new development, but they have an enormousshortcoming. Current RFID tagging methods only provide a read-only identification number thatmust be cross referenced to a database to obtain any pertinent information.This becomes quite cumbersome and slow in situations where time is a factor or the databasecontaining the information is not readily accessible, such as in a remote area or a farm whereinternet access is not available.Our method has the capability of 2048 bit (or 2kb) read/write storage, which can provide muchmore information to anyone needing to access information about the animal. All types ofpertinent information can be stored to this chip including: owner information, animal lifeinformation such as age, breed, sex, and health information including vaccinations, medications,surgeries, or diseases veterinary information.All this becomes not only a quick and efficient way to store and retrieve information, but since itis stored on a chip that is placed inside the animal, questions about its authenticity also are takenaway, which will help to eliminate cases of fraud and counterfeiting. Since the storage capabilityis still somewhat limited, there will still be a source for less important information stored on aninternet accessible database that can be accessed using the animals ID code as a key.

Bowker, D., & Sbenaty, S. M., & Johnson, M. N. (2011, June), Animal Record Management Using an Embedded RFID-Based System Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17491

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