RFID systems allow us to complete large-scale repetitive tasks, that are extremely time-consuming for humans, more accurately and in far less time! But what if we could add drones to improve processes even more?
Drones, Another Use for RFID Systems.
It is now out of the realms of sci-fi and within the realms of possibility to have a large warehouse that is buzzing with drones that will take care of the most repetitive and time-consuming tasks. This is now becoming a reality in an MIT trial, where RFID asset tracking is being combined with drones to increase productivity and allow employees greater time for customer service.
Using RFID Asset Tracking with Drones
Since the first proposed partnership between drones and RFID systems was floated, it has been a challenge to create RFID-enabled drones that are small and lightweight enough to be safely flown within close range of workers. The new system, RFly, is now being trialled in Massachussets with a retailer. According to the report, the tiny drones fly around the warehouse safely while reading RFID inventory tags from over 10 metres away with a 19cm margin of error.
MIT News says: “Between 2003 and 2011, the U.S. Army lost track of $5.8 billion of supplies among its warehouses,” says Fadel Adib, the Sony Corporation Career Development Assistant Professor of Media Arts and Sciences, whose group at the MIT Media Lab developed the new system. “In 2016, the U.S. National Retail Federation reported that shrinkage — loss of items in retail stores — averaged around $45.2 billion annually. By enabling drones to find and localize items and equipment, this research will provide a fundamental technological advancement for solving these problems.”
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