Can I mount an RFID Reader on a drone and take inventory?
The SimplyRFiD ID-001 Mobile Reader System runs stand-alone and collects GPS coordinates of all the RFID tags it reads and saves them with a timestamp. ID-001 exports data as a CSV or JSON for importing into an ERP system via a WiFi connection.
For Aramco, we used the DJI Wind. It's a big drone. It's expensive. But, it's well suited for high-speed flying and long missions. The Matrice series also works well with the ID-001. The ID-001 is about a kilogram with antennas.
Here's an example we deployed at Aramco to take inventory of the pipe yard. Several square kilometers of pipe all tagged with RFID.
Can we do this Indoor?
Short answer, not really. Some people talk about it and say they do it. The reality is that air currents in tight warehouse aisles make operating a drone dicey. At 30' off the floor, if they hit a 'hole' in the air pocket (e.g., an open inventory shelf that changes the air current), they can quickly bump products and fall to the ground. The potential to break the product, hurt people, or break the drone and RFID equipment is high. We've seen a few contraptions with blade protectors and sensors to allow proper indoor flying. If you've got this drone setup, it's less likely to fail, but the drone's value is overcoming outdoor obstacles and rough terrain. A ground robot with at 30' mast is better suited for indoor inventory.
Try to operate a DJI Phantom in an indoor setting. It works. It's just ... dicey.
We still think mounting readers to forklifts and taking continuous inventory is the best solution.
Aramco Clip (RFID Drone Outdoors)
- DJI Wind 4
- SimplyRFiD ID-001 System
Here's an example where we operate a DJI Phantom with the SimplyRFID ID-001 RFID package.
Take a look: