Technology Overview

The technology provider has developed a drone-based warehouse solution that allows for autonomous inventory management such as cycle counting and stock taking. While traditional inventory management methods can take 2 to 8 hours to cover a single warehouse rack/aisle, this solution can achieve it within 15 minutes without human intervention.

The drone allows for an operational accruacy of 25 minutes and an additional payload capacity of 1 KG. The fully autonomous flight navigation drone solution utilises Automatic Identification (Auto-ID) and advanced navigation algorithms. Moreover, the solution integrates range optimised QR code scanning and mono-directional RFID scanning for inventory management.

With man hours and human resources saved by deploying drone solution, manpower can be better allocated to non-mundane tasks. Players with warehouse operations in the supply chain and logistics value chain will likely find this solution beneficial to their operations.

Potential Applications

The drone solution is suited for goods manufacturers with warehouses, logistics providers and freight forwarders. In addition to inventory management through Auto-ID, the technology can also allow for periodic warehouse surveillance and inspection.

For example, instead of an operator and a scissor lift traversing through a warehouse aisle to individually scan each pallet ID across all levels, a drone can perfectly perform the same task. With multiple drones, the task can also be done concurrently as well. Operators can then spend time making better sense of the data collected by the drone.

Market Trends and Opportunities

Industry 4.0 is gaining interests in the logistics and supply chain industry, for good reason. Drone solutions are essentially carriers of other technologies like autonomous vehicles, warehouse management systems and 5G connectivity. Drones not only unlock vast potentials in productivity and cost savings, but also add value to the entire technology chain used in the industry. 

Customer Benefits

There are other Industry 4.0 technologies that have aimed to solve the present problem. However, these often require fixed infrastructure to be set up in the warehouse which then involve the maintenance of the infrastructure. In other cases, the implementation process itself can be sophisticated and requires more than one tool to solve the problem well.

The solution by the technology provider is capable of fully self-sustaining with no external dependencies. There is no need for set up as the solution is designed to be plug-and-play. The end-user will benefit from having little/no capital expenditure or process change to accommodate the solution, while still having the versatility for customisation. An entire set-up can take just 30 minutes and on-demand mobilization of the drone with just a press of a button.

With a well-tuned imaging algorithm, a 100% scanning accuracy is also a perk compared to other solutions that leaves some ambiguity for the user to solve. The solution is designed to work with day to day warehouse operations and human errors, so the scanning accuracy remains even in less that ideal situations.