Many recent advancements in technology have made it much easier to operate an efficient and productive warehouse, but unfortunately, the worldwide COVID-19 outbreak complicated things all over again. The need to keep staff members safe from the pandemic has brought innovation to the warehousing industry. Many companies are circumventing the human element altogether by enlisting a fleet of automated drones inside their warehouses.
Using drones to perform warehouse tasks during a pandemic means fewer people on your warehouse floor and a decreased risk of COVID-19 being transmitted between your employees. There are many situations in which drones could help warehouses both during the Coronavirus outbreak and after it has been eradicated.
Maintaining up-to-date inventory tracking is an ongoing task for any warehouse, and often a labor-intensive one as well. Depending on the size of your facility, tracking what you have in stock and what you need to order may require multiple workers to walk from rack to rack and complete a manual count. With a barcode or RFID scanner installed, a drone can travel through the aisles of a warehouse without any human ever needing to get involved, thereby minimizing person-to-person contact and maximizing productivity.
A recent case study by Romark Logistics shows just how effective a drone fleet can be at maintaining accurate and up-to-the-minute inventory counts. Once they were put into action, the drones were able to navigate between racks autonomously without impacting ground-level traffic. The drones in the study scanned inventory barcodes with total accuracy and even landed and recharged without any need for human direction or interaction.
There are still some small issues to work out, like the drones automatically turning on motion-activated overhead lights, but overall, the test effectively demonstrated the impact drones could have on the warehousing industry both now and in the future. In the years to come, automated drones may be able to take over other warehouse tasks as well, like picking from high shelves and moving small amounts of inventory from one place to another. If your budget allows for it, there are a lot of ways drones can help your warehouse get through the Coronavirus pandemic and keep your employees safe.