Yes, the FlytWare drone solution can be used in aisles as narrow as 6 feet (~ 1.8m).
Yes, the FlytWare drone solution can be used in racks as high as 40 feet (~ 12.2m).
Yes, the FlytWare drone solution can be used in multiple zones, either by having a single drone crossover from one zone to another, or by deploying multiple drones in parallel. This is highly dependent on the specific warehouse layout, cycle counting targets and is subject to health & safety restrictions at your site.
Yes, the FlytWare drone solution can be used in aisles longer than even 330 feet (~ 100m).
Currently, the FlytWare solution reads front-facing barcodes and QR codes. Hence it is ideally suited for 1-deep full pallet or case reserve. However, with certain operational improvements made in partnership with your inventory management team, FlytWare can be used for scanning broken pallets, cartons, and potentially even multi-deep case reserve.
FlytBase will provide the drone hardware as part of the FlytWare solution. This includes the drone, spare batteries and requisite accessories.
FlytWare uses an off-the-shelf drone from a reputed, global vendor. The drone model is sold in thousands each month and is generally available in ample quantities at a relatively short notice.
The drone currently provided as part of FlytWare is a quadcopter that weighs less than 1.75kg, has a flight time of upto 30 minutes on a battery charge, uses a battery with capacity upto 5000mAh, and can operate in temperatures between 30 deg F and 100 deg F. The drone has the requisite FCC and CE certifications.
FlytWare is designed to be hardware agnostic – it can easily be migrated to another drone model from the same vendor, as well as to drones with similar capabilities from another vendor.
The FlytWare solution is designed to be used only when there are no people, equipment or obstacles in the areas/aisles where the drone is flying. This helps avoid risks related to injuries and damage to equipment. Nevertheless, the solution does have obstacle detection and collision avoidance built-in, and real-time warnings are used to alert the FlytWare operator of potential collisions during flights.
FlytWare includes software components that are deployed on the drones, on the ground stations and in the cloud.
No, the FlytWare solution includes all the necessary hardware and software required.
No, FlytWare uses the FlytBase cloud only for licensing authentication and software updates. The inventory data collected by the drone(s) is stored on the ground station and/or in the customer cloud environment.
FlytWare software is available on an evaluation as well as commercial basis, depending on the stage of deployment at a given warehouse.
The FlytWare solution connects to the FlytBase cloud for license authentication and software updates. The warehouse IT team needs to provide the necessary security/authentication support to ensure trouble-free connectivity to the FlytBase cloud.
No, FlytWare only requires an Ethernet connection at the ground station.
FlytWare requires the following infrastructural support at each warehouse:
- Network access for the ground station(s)
- Power points for the ground station(s) and drone controller(s)
- Forklifts / reach trucks / ladders for one-time placement of navigation markers
- Storage space for batteries and spares
- Access to conference/meeting rooms during the deployment period for operator training, SOP discussions, etc.
- Personal data privacy and safety notices during drone operations
To ensure stable, autonomous indoor navigation of drones – and reliable barcode scans – FlytWare requires the following ambient conditions:
- Ambient lighting of at least 15 lux
- No turbulence due to overhead fans
- No unusually strong magnetic interference
Integration & Training
Yes, the APIs of your WMS can be used to automatically push data collected by FlytWare into the WMS. Until then, FlytWare can provide the data in CSV format, for easy imports into the WMS.
On a case-to-case basis, FlytWare APIs can be made available for specific integration requirements.
Yes, one (or more) warehouse associates will be trained to operate FlytWare, via in-person and online training sessions, supported by the relevant collateral. Operator certification will be provided, along with role-based access to FlytWare, to ensure that only associates with the relevant credentials can operate the FlytWare solution.
Yes, prior to, and during, deployment of drones, the FlytWare customer success team will work with warehouse stakeholders to create, update and refine the SOPs for seamless adoption of autonomous drones for inventory counts.
[Actual support policy will be explicitly captured in the FlytWare contract.]
The FlytWare customer success team will be available on email and phone to help troubleshoot the hardware problem. Depending on the nature of the problem, a replacement drone may be provided, configured and made operational within 5 business days.
Depending on the support policy defined in the contract, the nature and cause of the problem, and compliance with the SOPs the cost of hardware replacements will be covered by FlytBase or the customer.
The FlytWare customer success team will be available on email and phone to help troubleshoot the software problem. Relevant bug fixes, patch releases and/or upgrades will be provided, configured and made operational – via the FlytCloud connection on the ground station.
The FlytWare customer success team will work with the trained operator onsite, and the warehouse management team, to ensure that FlytWare is reconfigured for the new layout of racks, including the necessary hardware and software, testing, etc.
The FlytWare customer success team will work with the trained operator onsite, and the warehouse management team, to ensure that FlytWare is reconfigured for the new barcode formats, including the necessary updates to the hardware and software, integration, testing, etc.
Yes, FlytWare is immediately available for PoC and pilot deployments.
Starting Q4 CY2019, FlytWare will be available for production deployments.
Starting Q4 CY2019, FlytWare can be deployed at dozens of sites, involving hundreds of drones.
Currently, FlytWare is available only directly from FlytBase.
Yes, US and Europe-based companies are welcome to explore a potential integration partnership for FlytWare.
FlytWare is available as a Hardware SaaS solution. The commercial model has an upfront component and an annually recurring component. Actual pricing is available upon confirmation of feasibility and scope of deployment.
For customers with dozens of racks and multiple full-time resources engaged in cycle counts, FlytWare typically offers a compelling IRR of ~ 30% over 3 years, and a payback period of ~ 1 year. Of course, the actual RoI will depend on the specific warehouse layout, labor & equipment costs, target metrics for location accuracy & cycle count frequency, continuous improvements in inventory operations, etc.
Discounts are available for volume and term commitments.
Drone regulation varies by geography – depending on your warehouse, please refer to the UAV guidelines from the corresponding aviation authority.
In the US, the FAA rules and regulations apply only to outdoor drone operations. See this for details.
Some countries may require drone operators to obtain approvals, waivers, clearances, etc. even for flying drones indoors.
Drone flights in FlytWare are autonomous – no manual involvement is required for takeoff, navigation, or landing. Thus, a pilot (skilled or otherwise) is not required.
Since FlytWare is to be deployed in a similar manner to the current SOPs for manual cycle counts using fork-lifts, no additional OSHA compliances are expected at this time. By closing off the aisles during the drone flights, and having a certified operator oversee each flight, the warehouse manager can ensure that the relevant health & safety rules are followed, and the corresponding records are maintained.