Logistics company trials autonomous drones in Madrid warehouse

Monday, 13 January, 2020

Logistics company trials autonomous drones in Madrid warehouse

European logistics company IAG Cargo has announced that it has successfully trialled autonomous drone technology within its warehouse facility in Madrid. Designed around the automation of freight checks, the technology should help improve efficiency and reliability of operations.

Conducted using technology developed by drone software start-up FlytBase, the trials come after IAG Cargo found it was spending an average of 6500 hours each year recording the barcodes and location data of freight across individual warehouses.

Due to the drones’ use of the 3D space, degree of autonomy and continuous advancement in intelligent automation software, IAG Cargo identified a viable solution to increase accuracy within the warehouse.

“We are continuously looking for solutions to increase the efficiency and accuracy of our logistical operations, so we are delighted that the trials with FlytBase have been successful so far,” said Carly Morris, Head of Innovation, IAG Cargo. “Watching our autonomous drone take off, navigate our warehouse, collect valuable location and barcode data, and then return itself to an origin point for self-charging is an incredible sight, and shows the huge potential drones have in the aviation and logistics sectors.

“This trial is only one aspect of IAG Cargo’s continuous program of innovation and investment which changes how logistics works, challenges the status quo and ensures our customers receive the best possible service.

“We have more exciting new technology tests and trials in 2020 that will help change the way our industry approaches some age-old problems,” she concluded.

Two separate trials have now been successfully completed by IAG Cargo which saw drones complete tasks including autonomously navigating across multiple racks by flying over the top, accurately detecting and reading AWB tracking numbers and identifying empty slot locations, and automatically returning to charging docks for self-charging.

IAG said there will be a continuation of drone testing this year in order to make improvements on what has already been achieved.

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