After almost two years of development, the fully automatic drone warehouse inventory solution developed by Geodis and Delta Drone, a recognized international player in the professional civil drone sector, will be operational by the end of 2018.
More than 1000 hours of prototype flight time in three pilot warehouses were needed to develop this unique solution that allows warehouse inventories to be completed fully automatically, with no interruption of activity or human intervention. Main advantages of this solution: the productivity gains generated by the realization of the inventories outside the hours of activity of the warehouse, the reinforcement of the safety at work for the collaborators of the site which no longer have to perform this tedious task and sometimes risky, and reliable inventory management.
The prototyping phase made it possible to carry out multiple tests under real conditions in order to respond to the specific constraints of the warehouses, such as the low light level or the impact of the plastic films of the pallets on the image picking that required particular developments of the cameras on the drone.
This phase was completed at the end of 2017 with the development of a complete “plug and play” solution, able to be easily transported from one warehouse to another without any prior modification of the warehouse and its warehouse. adapt to all Warehouse Management System (WMS).
Geodis is a supply chain operator ranking among the largest companies in its field in Europe and worldwide. Based on these extremely positive results, Geodis and Delta Drone are now working on the production of an industrial system, focusing in particular on the design of the solution and the final choice of the best components, with the aim of moving to the next stage. of industrial production at the end of the year. As a first step, Geodis will be the exclusive user of this solution in its own warehouses.
The solution designed by the Geodis and Delta Drone engineering teams is unique. It combines a robot on the ground, with a battery that provides the energy needed to navigate a warehouse and to overcome the constraints of autonomy and a quadcopter drone equipped with four high-definition cameras. The set, equipped with indoor geolocation technology, works in total autonomy during the closing hours of the site. From an IT point of view, the solution enables real-time data counting and reporting, data processing and retrieval in the warehouse information system. The tests carried out during this first phase of development show that the solution makes stock management more reliable with rates close to 100%.