Pinc understands that for inventory technology to be truly effective, it must be autonomous. Therefore, the company has developed autonomous drones that are programmed to scan bar codes for cycle counting and other inventory purposes. This frees up an operator to direct the drone. Pinc flew its latest technology inside a small cage at ProMat to demonstrate how it would work in warehouse applications.
The drone can be programmed to perform a particular mission, such as scanning the inventory in a certain rack area. The drone then takes off and performs the task, returning to a designated point once the job is completed. The unit uses vision and mapping software to guide itself around the warehouse safely.
Pinc is also working to deploy small hydrogen fuel cells to power drones, which would allow flight times to be about four times longer than with the current lithium batteries. In addition, the company is developing new sense-avoid technology that will provide 360-degree monitoring and spacial awareness to the drones to prevent collisions with people as well as static and moving objects within a building.
For more information, see Pinc's website.