KIO RTLS FAQ

General Questions

  • What is KIO RTLS and what makes it different from other tracking systems?

    KIO RTLS is an indoor tracking system which enables you to locate objects and people up to 10 times more accurately than many other technologies used for positioning.

    Based on Ultra-wideband (UWB) radio
    While most tracking systems use signal strenght-based Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or RFID positioning, KIO RTLS uses the time-of-flight (ToF) positioning method on UWB radio technology, which improves precision to within centimetres. Furthermore, UWB technology has reduced interference with other wireless networks and enables coordinate-based accuracy even through obstacles.

    Precision and stability
    With KIO RTLS you can track objects with an accuracy of 5-30 cm. KIO RTLS is extra precise and reliable with unique proprietary algorithms for coordinate calculations and error corrections.

    Low power consumption
    The power consumption of the tags is one of the best among similar systems on the market using the ToF positioning method. Depending on the update rate, the battery can last up to 6 months without charging.

    Customisable and flexible system
    The flexibility of the system allows you to use the system in the way you need it. You can choose the necessary number of tags and their update rate. The number of anchors and their installation is customised for the unique tracking environment. You can also decide on the setup of the system, the features and software integration necessary for your solution.

    Extended coverage
    With 4 anchors you can cover up to 1000 m2. The system is also easily scalable, so you can extend the tracking area simply by adding more anchors.

    Reliable performance even in difficult conditions
    Hardware components are optimised for the best possible coverage and reliability in challenging conditions.

    Dedicated technical support
    Besides the reliability of the system, our customers have also highlighted Eliko’s competent sales and technical support team who are always there for you when needed.

    How the system works:
    The system consists of tags, anchors, the server and the KIO RTLS Manager.
    • Tags are small mobile devices which enable you to track anything or anyone.
    • Anchors are static reference devices placed in the tracking area for positioning. They connect to the server through Ethernet or Wi-Fi.
    • The server is responsible for coordinate calculation based on the distances measured and provides a stable platform for integration through API commands.
    • The KIO RTLS manager gives an excellent graphical overview of the deployed system and is easy to configure according to your specific needs.

  • What kind of objects can I track with KIO RTLS?

    With the KIO RTLS tag you can track forklifts, pallets, containers or manufactured parts, which are some of the most common examples from manufacturing.

    You can also track people with KIO RTLS. It has been used in various people tracking cases, ranging from employee route optimisation and safety provision in manufacturing to player location in several indoor sports.

    In general, you can track any object which the small tag can be attached to. All you need to do is attach the tag to the object or person you would like to track. Read our case studies for more examples.

  • How accurately does KIO RTLS track?

    With KIO RTLS you can track objects with an accuracy of 5-30 cm. The accuracy depends on environmental factors. Therefore, walls, their material and thickness, heavy machinery or other objects blocking the line-of-sight (LoS) may affect the accuracy. Contact us for more guidance and knowhow regarding your unique case.

  • Is it possible to position assets through walls with KIO RTLS?

    Yes, you can track objects in non-line-of-sight (nLoS) conditions with KIO RTLS, which allows tracking through walls and partitions. KIO RTLS has been optimised for maximum possible coverage and reliability in challenging conditions. However, there are some materials that prove hard to penetrate, such as concrete, thick metal and materials with a high moisture and liquid content. Therefore, the accuracy is mainly dependent on the materials used in the walls and their thickness.

    Eliko has worked with customers from various industries with demanding tracking area conditions, which has given us practical knowledge for a range of cases. Contact our experts to find the best solution for your specific case.

  • Does KIO RTLS work both indoors and outdoors?

    KIO RTLS, which uses Ultra-wideband (UWB) radio technology, works both indoors and outdoors. Therefore, while primarily an indoor positioning system, it is also suitable for temporary outdoor applications. The Wi-Fi anchors enable the quick and convenient setup of the system without having to worry about cabling.

    For permanent outdoor installations, UWB regulations should be checked, as such installations may be prohibited depending on the country or region. Learn more about the current status of regulations from UWB Worldwide regulations or contact us for in depth information about UWB regulations.

    The required level of water resistance should also be considered when planning an outdoor application.

  • What is included in the KIO RTLS kit?

    The KIO RTLS starter kit includes:
    4 Anchors – Anchors come in two configurations:
     1) Standard anchors are equipped with a Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) connector for both power and data transmission.
     2) The Wi-Fi anchors have external Wi-Fi modules, which are powered with micro-USB cables (a 5V DC 500 mA capable power supply is needed).
    1 Tag – To track an object the tag communicates with anchors and measures the distances on which the coordinate calculations are based on.
    KIO RTLS Server – The Server is an Ubuntu Linux machine with multiple roles. It creates the RTLS anchor network, calculates coordinates, connects the KIO RTLS with any third-party information system through API commands and hosts the KIO RTLS Manager.
    PoE Switch – The switch is necessary in a setup with standard anchors, in which case all anchors must be connected to the switch via Ethernet cables. The switch transfers data from the anchors to the KIO RTLS Server and also powers the anchors.
    KIO RTLS Manager – Graphical user interface for system setup, configuration and visualisation.

    KIo RTLS Starter Kit

Anchors

  • What are anchors?

    Anchors are static reference devices that are placed around the tracking area. They enable you to measure the distance from a tag to calculate its location coordinates. Overall, the tracking area is divided into cells. A cell normally consists of 4 anchors installed on the walls, ceiling or other support structures.

  • What is the size of an anchor?

    The size of an anchor is 90x90x27 mm (LxWxH). For more details, download the KIO RTLS Technical Specifications Sheet.

  • What is the coverage of anchors?

    An anchor’s range is up to 50 m and the maximum cell size is 33×33 m (~1000m2). A cell normally consists of 4 anchors installed on the walls, ceiling or other support structures in the tracking area. You can expand the tracking area by installing additional anchors in the new area.

  • What are the power options for anchors?

    KIO RTLS anchors have Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) and Wi-Fi connectivity options:
    1) Standard anchors are equipped with PoE ports for both power and data transmission.
    2) Wi-Fi anchors have external Wi-Fi modules, which are powered with micro-USB cables (a 5V DC 500 mA capable power supply is needed).

  • How many anchors do I need to cover the area? Are there any rules for calculating the number of anchors needed to cover a specific area?

    The number of anchors needed to cover the tracking area heavily depends on the environment of the area, as conditions are rarely ideal. Therefore, we cannot guarantee any one-size-fits-all rule. The best way to find out the approximate number of anchors needed for your tracking area is to contact Eliko’s experts and provide them with the floorplan of the area and some pictures if possible. The preliminary setup for tracking can then be drafted based on the information provided.

    In general, for 2D positioning, the minimum number of anchors needed in a cell is 3. However, we recommend 4 anchors for additional reliability and optimal precision. For 3D positioning, at least 4 anchors are required in a cell. With 4 anchors you can cover about 33×33 m (~1000 m2), which is the maximum possible size of a cell. To extend the area, every subsequent cell requires only 2 additional anchors, as anchors from a previous cell can be used as well. In a difficult non-line-of-sight (nLoS) situation up to 10 anchors can be used in a single cell to provide the best precision possible. If your layout does not allow a standard easy setup, contact us for guidance.

  • How do anchors communicate with the server?

    There are two ways in which anchors can communicate with the server: data transmission is enabled through Wi-Fi or Ethernet cables.

  • Is there a limit on how many anchors I can add to the system?

    You can add as many anchors as you need to the system. Although the server has a limit on how much data it can manage, it is possible to add an additional server to the system if needed.

Tags

  • What is the size of a tag?

    The size of a tag is currently 63x42x13 mm (LxWxH).

  • How do the tags work?

    To see the real time location and movement of an object, place a tag on the object you would like to track. Make sure the battery-powered tag is switched ON using the button on the front side of the tag. The suitable update rate for the tag is configurable from the KIO RTLS Manager when setting up the system.

    The mobile tag uses Ultra-wideband (UWB) radio technology to communicate with the static reference anchors that are placed around the tracking area. The tag communicates with three or more anchors from which the distances are calculated using the Time-of-Flight (ToF) positioning method. Based on the distances measured, the positioning coordinates are calculated in the server.

  • How are tags powered? What is the battery life of tags?

    KIO RTLS tags are battery-powered and can last up to 6 months without charging. The battery life depends on the update rate. Here are some possible battery life examples:
    update rate every second – 12 days;
    update rate every minute – 194 days.

    Learn more about the battery from the KIO Tag Specification Sheet.

  • Can we configure the update rate of tags? What are the update rate options for tags?

    Yes, you can modify the update rate of tags based on your needs. The update rate can be changed easily with the corresponding API command or the KIO RTLS Manager. With a standard setup you can choose an update rate from once per minute up to 10 Hz (10 updates per second). More than 10 Hz update rates are also possible if necessary, contact us to discuss a custom solution.

  • What is the range of a tag?

    The operational distance of a tag is up to 50 metres from anchors.

  • How many tags can I add to the system? How many assets can I track simultaneously with the system?

    You can add as many tags to the system as you need, but the following aspects must be considered:
    • What is the required update rate for the tags;
    • How many tags need to use the same anchor simultaneously;
    • Is it a single or multi-cell set up with shared anchors.

    There is a limit on how many tags can be connected to the same anchor at the same time. Learn more from the KIO RTLS Regular Cell Technical Specifications sheet and contact our experts to find the best solution for your specific case.

  • Can you make the tag smaller?

    Contact us at sales@eliko.ee to discuss your custom design requirements. The size of a tag is mainly dependent upon the type of battery used. Much smaller designs are possible using primary batteries.

  • Can I also see the orientation of the moving object if I track it with the tag?

    Yes, it is also possible to see the orientation of a moving object simply by adding an additional tag on the tracked vehicle or asset. Contact us at sales@eliko.ee to find the best solution for your particular case.

System

  • How the system works?

    The KIO Real Time Location System (RTLS) is an Ultra-wideband (UWB) based positioning system. It consists of static anchors, mobile tags, a server and the RTLS software.

    The tracking area with anchors:
    The overall tracking area is divided into cells. A cell normally consists of four static reference devices called anchors, which are installed on the walls or other support structures. If the environment is more complex and includes obstacles that block the radio waves, you may need to install additional anchors in a single cell. This will cover any blind spots and ensure that you get consistently stable and accurate coordinates.

    How tracking works:
    The tag communicates with at least 3 anchors using UWB radio technology. The anchors connect to the server through Wi-Fi or Ethernet cables. The software measures the distance from the tags to the anchors and calculates the X, Y and Z coordinates based on the information collected.

    The server is used for different purposes:
    The server creates the RTLS anchor network, calculates coordinates and connects the KIO RTLS with any third-party information system through API commands. The server also hosts the KIO RTLS Manager, which is an easy graphical user interface for system setup, configuration and visualisation.

     

     

  • How is the data transferred?

    The location data is gathered by the anchors and transferred to the KIO Server for coordinate calculation. Data transmission is enabled by Ethernet cables or Wi-Fi.

  • What is the data format used in your system?

    The positioning data is in CSV – comma separated values.

  • What are the supported platforms for integration?

    The KIO RTLS can be integrated with any platform that allows the importation of the data feed from the KIO Server. Contact us to discuss your specific needs.

  • What information can be collected with the system?

    You can choose between several data output formats depending on what information is required. For example, you can request information about coordinates, distance, battery status and timestamps. Ask for more features and options for your particular case from our sales team.

  • Is it possible to integrate third party software with KIO RTLS software and collect coordinates / location information from your system?

    Yes, it’s possible to export data from the KIO RTLS server to your own server / machine. Contact us to discuss this in more detail.

  • How do you protect the data?

    The KIO RTLS Server is meant to be placed inside the client’s premises and connected to the client’s internal network. Therefore you can decide which security mechanism to use and to whom you grant access.

  • What kind of support do you have available?

    Eliko’s helpful sales engineers are always available to provide pre-sales technical support and post-system installation problem solving advice, if necessary. You can also use the detailed technical documentation of the system, which is available on our website or upon request.

  • Which certifications do you have? For which markets is your system approved?

    The hardware and system are designed based on CE and FCC requirements. Contact us to discuss additional certificates that meet your needs.

  • What are the languages of the API?

    The API is a list of commands in text format that you can use to get the data out of the server. It doesn’t matter what programming language you are using to send the commands to the server.

  • Do we need to calibrate the system before being able to use it?

    Our devices are calibrated before we ship them to the customer for the best possible accuracy. There is no additional calibration required.

  • Why is it necessary to define the height of the tags in you RTLS Manager for 2D positioning?

    Defining the height of the tag enables the system to achieve the best positioning accuracy in 2D. This is useful in cases where the tag is fixed to objects that don’t change their height. For applications that require lower accuracy, it is not necessary to change the default value.

  • Can the system be expanded with the help of sensors?

    Yes, it is possible to add sensors to the system. Contact us for custom solution options.

Technology - Basic Knowledge

  • What technology does KIO RTLS use?

    KIO RTLS uses UWB radio communication for positioning objects. Learn more about UWB from our blog post.

  • What is the accuracy of UWB?

    UWB technology generates short pulses that can be measured very precisely. Combined with the time-of-flight (ToF) method for measurements, this enables it to achieve a precise location down to centimetres.

  • What is the difference between TDoA and ToF methods?

    ToF – time-of-flight, sometimes called ToA – time-of-arrival.
    TDoA – Time difference of arrival.

    Both the ToF and TDoA methods rely on measuring the time it takes for the radio waves to travel a certain distance in the air. The difference between ToF and TDoA lies in the distances we actually measure and how we use them to calculate the position of the tag.

    Read more about their pros and cons on our blog post.

  • What is line of sight (LoS) communication?

    Line of sight (LoS) is a type of propagation that can transmit and receive data only in cases where transmit and receive stations are in view of each other without any sort of an obstacle between them. (From  Techopedia).

KIO RTLS Documentation

KIO RTLS Product Sheet

Download file

Regular Cell Technical Specifications

Download file

Anchor Technical Specifications

Download file

Tag Specifications

Download file

Server Technical Specifications

Download file

KIO RTLS Demo and Tutorials

KIO RTLS Setup and Features

Learn how the technology works, how to set it up and see if it could work for your use case.