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IFM Pilots Small Drone Army to Resolve Warehouse Inventory Issues

Several industries, retail included, will soon be able to combat warehouse inventory issues with the help of IFM’s latest technology solution.

IFM (Intelligent Flying Machines) launched a pilot program that involves using a small drone army to keep track of inventory throughout the day, according to TechCrunch. The small drone army works around the clock and notifies workers about any changes in product records, minimizing the time and cost of logistical operations.

“From my background in industrial robotics, I very often saw that with the systems they currently have in warehouses, things get lost all the time,” IFM CEO Marc Gyongyosi said. “And when they do go and search for stuff, they have to go and climb up forklifts and ladders.”

After witnessing firsthand how inventory issues plague many warehouses today and observing problems like space navigation, staff demands, extended recounting, lost items and decreased profitability, Gyongyosi dreamed up a potential solution: a small drone army.

These high-accuracy counting robots could navigate warehouses without human involvement, taking off autonomously, scanning aisles and landing themselves on recharging portals without the mechanical help of workers. The drone army inspections would take about 20 minutes, dramatically decreasing inventory count from days to minutes. Drones would scan and cross-reference data with businesses’ inventory software, which alerts workers about potential errors and increases inventory accuracy.

IFM is already working with some unnamed automakers on the small drone army solution and Gyongyosi anticipates it launch commercially in 2017.

“We have Google Maps for the outdoors, but we don’t have anything like that indoors,” he said. “There’s a lot of data to be collected indoors, and this technology is the first step in creating a system that can collect this information autonomously.”