Key Control System Using Separate ID and Location Detection

Patent Number 6812838
Issue Date 2004 11 02
Assignee Key-Trak, Inc.
Inventor(s) Maloney, William C.
State/Country GA

Title: Key control system using separate ID and location detection mechanisms

Abstract: An object control and tracking system and related methods using separate object identification and location detection mechanisms for objects, such as keys, that are maintained in a secure enclosure, such as a key drawer. A plurality of object slots are located on the top tray of the enclosure to receive object tags that include both an RFID tag and an object to be tracked. The objects (e.g., keys) are attached to a portion of the object tags that are outside of the enclosure. Presence detectors are used to determine if an object tag is present in the corresponding slot of the enclosure. RFID sensors located on opposite interior side walls of the enclosure interrogate each RFID tag to determine the presence of each RFID tag within the enclosure. The object control and tracking system includes a controller, a memory for storing an object control database, and related processing logic operating on the controller to control scanning of the presence detectors to determine an object tag's presence in a corresponding slot, to identify each object present in the enclosure and to compare the identified objects with an object control database to determine each object removed or replaced since the previous database update. Exmp. Claim 1 Ex Claim text An object tracking system comprising: a receptacle having a plurality of slots for storing a plurality of objects, each object having an associated object tag; at least one first detector for detecting and identifying each object tag present in the receptacle; a plurality of second detectors separate from said first detector for detecting a location within the receptacle of object tags placed in, or remove from, the receptacle; and a controller, coupled to the first and second detectors, wherein the controller is programmed to correlate information received from the first and second detectors to identify the particular slot of the receptacle in which each object tag is located.