Corvus Flying Robots track Warehouse Inventory 10 Times Faster than Humans.

Many tasks are involved in a warehouse, from maintaining inventory to shifting stuff from one place to another. Robots are employed for moving boxes like the Dextrous Robots, STRETCH, and Picker Robots to sort packages.

Despite the rapid growth of e-commerce, the labor shortage is a barrier, which is why companies are investing more in advanced mobility solutions and optimizing human-robot collaboration to improve warehouse management and speed up dispatches.

Inventory management is yet another problem as it is tedious to keep a check on thousands of items present in a warehouse. While larger e-commerce giants are looking forward to automating distribution fully, there aren’t many solutions to improve smaller warehouse efficiency.

However, The YC-backed Corvus Robotics has developed a unique and exciting solution to manage inventory faster than humans. Unlike other Robotic companies that create a fully automated logistics robots fleet, Corvus Robotics chose the drones to buzz around the warehouses and monitor stocks at all distances and heights.

Massive warehouses usually employ a group of people to keep track of inventory whose responsibility is to walk around scanning the warehouse to keep the inventory list up to date, a highly vital and relatively boundless process. It is one of the most challenging tasks to carry out in enormously big warehouses.

The Corvus One drones can fly unattended for weeks and explore every stock around them, making it an utterly autonomous inventory tracking system without any human intervention. It can scan up to ten times quicker than human beings. The drones from Corvus Robotics can browse a whole warehouse for inventory on a rolling basis in just a couple of days, whereas the same operation would take over weeks by a human crew.

Inventory constitutes an essential opportunity for automation and robotics. We have seen several attempts to keep stock in places such as supermarkets. In all dimensions, storage facilities can be extensive, meaning that the kinds of robots that can make supermarket inventory operate efficiently won’t chop the stock into a warehouse simply because they can’t see inventories stacked over 20m high levels of the ceilings. This is why the drone form and design factor of Corvus One offers a precious solution.

One such drone solution was developed by American Robotics which build an automated drone program for Stockpile Reports. The American Robotics drones use a three-dimensional map of the location and determine the size of the goods in the workplace, which can benefit large worksites. With the help of these drones, Stockpile Reports will be able to measure the stockpiles perfectly.

At the start of deployment, Corvus will create a map of geometry and semantic information in the operational region. Then the drones will update the map independently with each flight over their lifetime. Along with enormous, stationary storage units, some walls and ceilings are fixed and don’t move.

However, these items will not benefit the localization system because they appear the same. Also, the stock that does offer some uniqueness, such as the products on these shelves, is constantly changing.

The CTO of Corvus Robotics, Mohammed Kabir, says it was challenging to recognize the granularity while everything is changing. But, they have achieved the best outcome with the best characteristics. Let us look at some of the unique features of Corvus One.

Corvus One Features For Warehousing Mapping

  • The Corvus One has ten cameras plus lidar for omnidirectional “Smart Collision Avoidance” and a self-contained pad on ROS and PX4 for real-time control and onboard visual-inertial SLAM (simultaneous localization and mapping), dense volumetric mapping, and motion planning. 
  • These drones combined some environment’s structural components into their SLAM solution and some semi-static features. These components are unlikely to change over the course of a single flight, assisting the drone with loop closure. 
  • Its 2.5′ wingspan fits in 6′ very narrow aisle pallets, making it easier for the drones to fly in congested warehouses. 
  • The drone also has its charging station of 120 – 240V and an initial map for efficient browsing over warehouses. These drones take just 1 hour to scan an estimated 200-400 pallet positions per drone. 
  • It scans pallet labels with OCR or barcodes, which helps the drone read and comprehend the products or boxes in the warehouse more efficiently. 
  • The best feature of the Corvus One drones is that they can operate fully even without a Wifi connection; this could be beneficial for dead zones. 
  • These drones are highly impressive as they come with a 360-degree vision system that the drone uses to navigate. It includes several safety-first behaviors ranging from looking for precise flat locations to land in an emergency. 
  • The drone’s flight speed is approximately 2-3 mph, which helps the warehouse function reasonably. 

Overall, Corvus One claims to do inventory up to 10x faster than the manual inventory process done by humans. Even retail giants like Amazon and Walmart for efficient incorporation of stock. Corvus One can help businesses manage their inventory systematically and more quickly without hiring a vast inventory team.