Geodis Inventory Control Solution Employs Drone Technology

17th April 2020

Logistics BusinessGeodis Inventory Control Solution Employs Drone Technology

GEODIS and DELTA DRONE have launched a warehouse-inventory solution. GEODIS Countbot is a stabilized automated system that includes a drone and is able to do inventory and inventory control. Inventory can be done in real time, without human intervention other than a supervising operator and without any special equipment.

“GEODIS Countbot” is the result of over three years of R&D and testing to create a reliable automated inventory service that does not require any additional stationary equipment inside the warehouse and is totally safe, protecting both people and property. Built by both DELTA DRONE, specialized in civilian drones for professional use, and GEODIS, international leader in transport and logistics, this new service revolutionizes warehouse inventory: “Inventory is a time-consuming activity and can be risky for humans, requiring operations to be shut down and the rental of personnel lifts. With “GEODIS Countbot,” inventory can now be carried out quickly, automatically and safely,” explains Romain Cauvet, global Engineering director, Supply Chain optimization, GEODIS. In terms of performance, the first assignments performed in real time, in a 10 000 m2 warehouse, allow us to estimate inventory time at under three hours instead of the one to two days it used to take.

The solution combines a robot, a telescopic mast that can reach up to 10 metres and a drone that ensures the stability and therefore the quality of the images collected. It has been the subject of several patent applications. 16 high-resolution cameras are positioned along the mast. The unit moves automatically through the aisles, following trajectories entered beforehand in the robot’s memory thanks to an initial full mapping of the site. As it moves, the cameras photograph the pallet barcodes end detect anomalies, if any. All the data are then reported to the WMS (Warehouse Management System).

From an operational and commercial standpoint, the partners plan to deploy the solution progressively to many warehouses throughout the world, whether or not they are GEODIS warehouses. In Europe, sales of the systems will benefit from the support and existing network of Ott Ventures, Delta Drone’s new reference shareholder, representing close to five million square meters in warehouse space and industrial sites located in various countries, in particular, the Czech Republic, Germany, the Netherlands and Russia.