March 9, 2020 — At MODEX 2020, Ware Robotics has launched the first warehouse inventory cycle counting system built that uses autonomous drones to collect the data in the warehouse. The drone solution is based on the on Skydio 2. The Skydio 2 is one of the first commercially available autonomous flying drones. Ware Robotics believes that the tracking and counting inventory cost-effectively is one of the $1.9 trillion warehousing industry’s greatest challenges.
“The extreme growth of e-commerce has caused warehousing to expand rapidly over the past two decades,” says Ian Smith, CEO and co-founder of Ware. “That, combined with the historically-low unemployment rate in the U.S., means that demand for the warehouse workforce has outstripped the supply. Warehouses are increasingly looking towards automation and robotics as solutions to fill these gaps in their inventory departments. That’s why we created Ware.”
Most warehouses and distribution centers strive for twice-yearly or quarterly full-counts of their inventory, but because of labor challenges and competing priorities, many don’t reach those goals.
“Today, our solution can deliver full-counts every month—increasing most customers’ frequency by 6x,” explains Joseph Moster, CTO and co-founder of Ware. “Our system leverages fleets of drones to capture images of every bin location in a facility, giving operators a visual audit history of the status of their inventory and proactively alerting them to potential issues.” Moster continues, “And we don’t just stop there—all of those same images contribute to building the largest-ever visual dataset of warehouse inventory, which serves as the backbone of our machine learning algorithms.”
Smith makes it clear that while drones are a critical part of their system, Ware doesn’t build them in-house. “Hardware is hard. So we partnered with Skydio to integrate their latest drone, Skydio 2, as the data collection vehicle for our system.” This frees Ware to focus deeply on delivering accurate data results to their customers. “We’re incredibly excited to partner with Ware to build the first indoor warehousing product on Skydio 2,” says Adam Bry, CEO of Skydio. “Indoor drone use cases have been talked about for years, and with Skydio 2’s visual navigation system and Ware’s product, it’s finally possible to deliver the solutions customers have been asking for.”
Smith closes, “Our mission at Ware is to help warehouses never have to worry about cycle counting again. We’re excited to have built the first turn-key, enterprise-grade inventory automation product which finally delivers on the reliability our customers have been craving.” Ware’s current focus is the U.S. market but plans to expand internationally in the future.
You can see the drones in action at MODEX 2020 this week in the Ware Robotics booth #1507.