The warehouse inventory service using autonomous smart drones is a fast, accurate, and safe alternative to traditional (manual) stock management methods.

UVL Robotics has made it all a reality and currently provides these cutting-edge services to its customers.

2105677 PALETS
Order creation
Warehouse topology uploading
Drones sequentially fly along with warehouse racks and scan unit labels (barcodes / QR-codes)
Transferred data from the scanner, images and video flow are being processed in a ground station
The software creates links between data and uploaded topology - inventory report is done. The created report is ready for XML-import or EDI transmission to customers' ERP
Scanned pallets per one battery
300-750 pcs
Time per scan
2-5 sec
Flight duration
25 minutes
Battery replacement time
7-10 sec
Number of drones in one site
Work in both narrow and wide aisle
Li-ion battery
Error-proofing system
High Accuracy
Results in XML report or by ERP integration
Anti-collision system

PepsiCo – a global beverage producer. In 2019 PepsiCo has implemented UVL Robotics inventory drones to their regular operations as a part of the optimization program to reduce Health & Safety risks on their sites.

By now drones help to conduct regular inventory counts at PepsiCo warehouses areas with a storage capacity of up to 25 thousand pallets.

K+N is a well-known worldwide 3PL company and one of the leaders in the world logistics sector. In 2019 K+N company became the first third-party logistics provider who did stock-taking with drones at their facility on such a significant scale.

In total, drones conducted 35 thousand pallet places in the K+N warehouse in only 12 hours. Elimination of dangerous high-altitude work and the necessity to rent scissor lifts together with comparable cost have determined the success of the project.

  1. What objects can be serviced by warehouse UAVs?

    Our UAVs are designed to work in multi-tier racking warehouses with both wide and narrow aisles, indoors and outdoors. Our customers do not need to change warehouse infrastructure or install any additional equipment (sensors, trackers, etc.) to their storage racks.

  2. What storage units can be counted using our drones?

    Our solution can be used for counting any type of goods on a pallet level. We extract picking zones where count by piece or by the box is needed (flood-floor, usually 5-10% of total storage) focusing on higher levels where we substitute heavy scissor lifts and similar heavy equipment.

  3. Is it mandatory to have applicated warehouse address storage system to conduct inventory count by UAVs?

    Not necessarily. The inventory count itself can be done without an implemented address system, but without linking each container (storage unit) to a particular address on a storage rack. In general, the majority of warehouses nowadays have address storage system applied. That allows not only to conduct product inventory but also to check the correctness of the storage addresses of each unit.

  4. What are the labelling requirements for storage?

    The basic requirement is a barcode or QR code placed on the front side of a pallet. The orientation is irrelevant. Labels shouldn’t be harshly jammed or overlaid. Up to 5 layers of transparent packaging film are acceptable and do not affect label readability whatsoever.

  5. How does the system understand the structure and capacity of a warehouse?

    We export the topology file provided by our customer to our software where the algorithm creates the digital mask (copy) of warehouse racks incl. the number of storage places, levels, number of alleys, etc. As soon as the drone flies along with racks – this mask becomes filled with data received from the drone’s scanner.

  6. What are the main indicators determined by the drone during inventory count?

    The drone can either scan the pallet label (“green” indicator) or confirm that a particular address is vacant (empty = “yellow” label) or mark an error (no label or unreadable label = “red” indicator).

  7. Can the drone simply skip one pallet by mistake?

    UAV cannot pass one address (unit) without assigning it to one of three above mentioned indicators. Otherwise, the system will not allow continuing the task.

  8. How long can a drone fly and make scanning?

    From 23 to 27 minutes depending on condition. When the inventory service is going on – the technician (usually assigned to 4-5 drones) simply replaces batteries when they are low. This procedure takes up to 10 seconds. We only replace batteries after the count on a full level (row) of a rack is done.

  9. Can drones damage client’s products or equipment?

    We have equipped our UAVs with lidars (distance measuring technology that uses lasers) to make sure the drone cannot get close to a surrounding object so the collision is very unlikely.

  10. How can results of inventory count be obtained?

    We can either provide a customized report in XLS or make full integration with the client ERP system.

  11. What are the advantages of the service model in comparison with the buying of UAVs?
    • service model does not require our customers to have their own trained staff to service UAVs;
    • inventory counts usually happen 2-4 times a year. In most cases companies just rent equipment (scissor lifts) for getting stick-taking done. We provide service which does not imply serious investments in equipment and allow clients to use service “on-demand”;
    • We are constantly improving our product based on our customers' feedback and new technologies, upgrading our solution to the most up-to-date state.
  12. What is the cost of a warehouse UAV and what does it include?

    We do not sell UAV, but provide inventory count services on a «turn-key» basis quoting “per one counted unit” (incl. empty addresses). Thus, our customers have a simple and transparent cost-effective payment model.

  13. How to start the inventory with UVL Robotics?

    Easy. Just call or email us. We will ask questions on warehouse characteristics, storage format, pallet label standard, etc. After receiving all clarification data we schedule the regular visit to do a test. In general, we do not need more than one week prior to a start.

UVL Robotics publishes a very detailed study of the drone logistics market and its pathway to a scalable, globally accepted solution.