Warehouse inventory solution of Geodis, Delta Drone to kick off by year end
April 11, 2018: Geodis and Delta Drone have recently entered the industrialisation production phase of their completely automated solution.
After almost two years of development, the completely automatic warehouse inventory solution using drones, perfected by Geodis and Delta Drone is expected to be operational by the end of this year.
Over 1,000 flight hours in prototype mode across three pilot warehouses arrived at this solution, which will allow companies to perform completely automatic warehouse inventories, without interrupting their usual operations or any human intervention.
The main advantage of this solution are the productivity gains generated by performing the inventories outside warehouse operating hours, greater safety at work for the site’s employees, who no longer have to carry out this tedious and sometimes risky task, and a greater reliability of the inventory.
In the prototyping phase, multiple tests were carried out in the real operating conditions in order to meet the specific constraints of warehouses, such as low light or the impact that the plastic film covering pallets has on image capturing, which required special adaptations to the cameras embedded in the drones.
This phase concluded in 2017, with the development of a complete ‘plug-and-play’ solution that can be easily moved from one warehouse to another without any prior changes to the warehouse. This solution also adapts to all types of Warehouse Management Systems (WMS).
Based on these positive results, Geodis and Delta Drone are currently working on manufacturing a system, and are focused on the solution’s design, and the final choice of the best components. The aim is to move to the industrial production stage at the end of the year. Initially, Geodis will be the exclusive user of this solution in its own warehouses.
The solution designed by the Geodis and Delta Drone engineering teams combines a ground-based robot equipped with a battery that provides the energy needed to navigate a warehouse, and allows freedom from autonomy constraints, and a quadcopter drone equipped with four high-definition cameras.
This set, equipped with indoor geolocation technology, operates autonomously during hours the site is closed. From an IT point of view, the solution enables the counting and reporting of data in real time, the processing of data, and its restitution in the warehouse’s information system. The tests conducted during this initial development phase show that the solution enables inventory to be managed reliably with rates close to 100 percent.