Škoda Drone Keeps Tabs on Stock-Taking

Škoda is taking to the air with an autonomous drone being used to help its stock-taking efforts.

A robotic drone is being tested at the Czech carmaker’s Mladá Boleslav plant to identify and count empty containers outside the factory from the air.

Škoda has collaborated with Czech specialists Robodrone to implement the first testing phase. The drone is equipped with LiDAR technology to accurately identify and count unoccupied containers and then its data is automatically transferred to the logistics department to be processed.

The drone can fly up to 12mph and has the ability to carry a load of up to 11lbs. Its LiDAR sensor captures up to 300,000 images per second and navigates using a 3D map. It detects and counts the equipment containers using specially designed algorithms developed uniquely for Škoda.

Testing has been live since May 2018 and, during the next development phase, the battery-powered device will get its own ‘nest’ and then be able to autonomously navigate to a charging station.

You can see the drone in action here.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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