Stocktaking from the air – how Skoda is using Robodrones in its Czech factory

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Stocktaking from the air – ŠKODA AUTO tests autonomous drone in logistics from ŠKODA VIMEO PRO on Vimeo.

ŠKODA is currently testing advanced drone technology that can identify and count empty containers outside the factory from the air.

The car manufacturer has collaborated with Czech specialists Robodrone to implement the first testing phase. The drone is equipped with LIDAR (light detection and ranging) technology to accurately identify and count unoccupied containers at the car manufacturer’s factory in Mladá Boleslav.

The drone’s sensors identify and count unoccupied containers before automatically transferring the data to the logistics department’s IT systems, where they can be processed and subsequently collected or removed from the site.

The data is then automatically transferred to the logistics department to be processed.

The drone can fly up to 20 km/h and has the ability to carry a load of up to 5kg. A LIDAR sensor captures up to 300,000 images per second and navigates using a 3D map. The drone detects and counts the equipment containers using specially designed algorithms developed uniquely for ŠKODA.

Testing has been live since May 2018 and the technology has been integrated into ŠKODA’s regular operations. During the next development phase, the drone will get its own ‘nest’ and the battery-powered device will then be able to autonomously navigate to a charging station.

Chris Price