The Complete Magazine on Open Source

Arduino-based RFID attendance system

attendance system based on open source Arduino board

Most educational institutions’ administrators are concerned about student irregular attendance. Truancies can affect student overall academic performance. The conventional method of taking attendance by calling names or signing on paper is very time consuming and insecure, hence inefficient. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is an interesting solution in such cases. Arduino based RFID based attendance system is one of the solutions to address this problem.

Applications of RFID

This system can be used to take attendance for student in school, college, and university. It also can be used to take attendance for workers in working places. Its ability to uniquely identify each person based on their RFID tag type of ID card make the process of taking the attendance easier, faster and secure as compared to conventional method.

The system can be connected to the computer through RS232 or Universal Serial Bus (USB) port and store the attendance taken inside database. An alternative way of viewing the recorded attendance is by using HyperTerminal software. A prototype of the system has been successfully fabricated. Radio frequency technology is used in many applications. RFID tags are of two types

Passive tags contain 13 digit number tag inbuilt in it, whereas active tags are read/write tag i.e. one can read from the tag and write to the tag.

This project uses a passive tag in making the RFID based attendance system. In real time, one can issue active tags to the students, with their roll numbers as their tags. RFID reader contains a copper winding in it. This winding acts as an antenna.

Working on RFID based attendance system

When a person with an RFID tag or transponder enters in the range of an RFID reader, the RF field induces voltage in the coils of tag. The range can be set by using the appropriate reader of appropriate frequency. This induced field supplies the voltage in case of passive tags and act as a battery in that case. If active tags are used then the case will be different as they have battery of their own.

Due to interaction of tag with reader 12 characters from tag are sent to controller. These 12 characters are sent to controller via serial communication. Before this controller is loaded with a program. In controller data of employee are saved. In our case data‘s of two employees are saved i.e. tag number and name. When we provide power supply to the circuit, the circuit switches on and “ARDUINO BASED RFID BASED ATTENDANCE SYSTEM” is displayed on LCD.

When 12 characters are transferred to controller, the controller matches the characters with the saved characters. If the characters are matched then controller sends ‘1’ to green LED and time & date at time of entrance is fetched and stored. If characters do not match with the saved characters, the controller sends ‘1’ to red LED and displays tag number along with a string “ERROR”. This way it can be done number of times for different employees. Similarly there will be number of entries, valid or invalid. At the end of day, circuit can be connected to PC through RS232. And complete data is transferred to the computer on HYPERTERMINAL/TERATERM.

Component List

  • Printing PCB
  • ATmega32 Microcontroller
  • Crystal Oscillator
  • 3v Lithium Battery
  • DS1307 RTC IC
  • MAX232
  • RFID Tags
  • RFID Reader
  • Capacitor
  • Voltage Regulator IC 7805
  • LED
  • Connecting wires
  • LCD 16×2
  • Resistors

You can pick your Arduino board from

This article was first published in