Geodis and Delta Drone have announced plans to start the production of an automatic warehouse inventory solution, which uses drones.
Expected to be operational in 2018, the new solution has completed more than 1,000 flight hours in prototype mode across three pilot warehouses.
The advanced solution will help companies to carry out completely automatic warehouse inventories without disturbing their usual operations or requiring any human intervention.
In the prototyping phase, multiple tests were conducted in real operating conditions to meet the particular constraints of warehouses such as low light or the impact that the plastic film covering pallets has on image capturing, which need special adaptations to the cameras embedded in the drones.
In 2017, the partnership completed the development of a complete plug and play solution, which can be easily moved from one warehouse to another without making any prior changes to the facility.
Suitable for all types of warehouse management systems (WMS), the new solution will be initially deployed at Geodis warehouses.
The new solution aggregates a ground-based robot equipped with a battery that offers the required energy to navigate a warehouse and allows freedom from autonomy constraints. A quadcopter drone is installed with four high-definition cameras.
The set, installed with indoor geolocation technology, functions autonomously during the hours the site is closed.
.From an IT perspective, the solution allows the counting and reporting of data in real time, processing of data and restoring it in the warehouse’s information system.
According to Geodis, the tests carried out during the initial development phase demonstrated that that the solution enabled to manage inventory with rates close to 100%.
Delta Drone Group, which produces civilian drones for professional use, offers services ranging from data acquisition to data processing through a specifically developed information system.
Image: The automatic warehouse inventory solution using drones will be operational by the end of this year. Photo: courtesy of Hervé Boutet.