Inside Unmanned Systems

JUN-JUL 2016

Inside Unmanned Systems provides actionable business intelligence to decision-makers and influencers operating within the global UAS community. Features include analysis of key technologies, policy/regulatory developments and new product design.

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40 unmanned systems inside   June/July 2016 AIR NEW APPLICATIONS A mazon has its dancing "pick and pack" robots, and now Walmart has flying inventory management drones. The retail giant demonstrated its prototype solution at a recent press event, saying the company is six to nine months away from in- troducing unmanned aircraft systems or UAS in its distribution centers to help with inven- tory management. The company's goal is to reduce the time it takes to check the stock in a warehouse from one month to one day. The announcement opened a window on a substantial new application for unmanned aircraft—the tracking of trillions of dollars of warehouse stock, newly manufactured goods, raw materials and other assets as they move through the supply chain. While the details about Walmart's devices are still fuzzy, the firm said in an October 2015 fil- ing with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that it had been using a DJI Phantom 3 and a DJI S900 for indoor testing. The firm reportedly also has a long history of using radio frequency identification, or RFID, to manage its inventory. RFID tags are encoded with in- formation and attached to an item, carton or pallet. Passive tags send that information when triggered and powered by an RFID reader. Ac- tive tags have batteries and broadcast their con- tents. Passive tags are far less expensive and the usual choice for inventory operations. Walmart told reporters its UAS would be outfitted with custom software and a camera that takes 30 photos a second as they search for inventory in the wrong spaces. When a drone finds an item in the wrong slot, it f lags by Rachel Kaufman and Dee Ann Divis "NOW they can put the bundles anywhere ." Maroun Hannoush, CEO of Exponent Technology Services, Montreal division "Find-it" drones equipped with RFID readers, location determination and other sensors are being used to quickly update inventories and track trillions in newly manufactured goods, raw materials and other assets. Photo courtesy of Secom Bahia, via Wikimedia Commons " FIND-IT" DRONES TRACK TRILLIONS IN INVENTORY AND ASSETS

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