Commercial Drone: The drone industry has an eye for opportunities where industries can use aerial assets to improve and speed up expensive and slow processes.
One example is One San Francisco, which was an intentional community, or some would call it, “a technological commune,” located in a factory warehouse in San Francisco, CA. It has now identified a major need that represents a $1.9 trillion industry.
They are taking an approach that will use a combination of commercial hardware that is easily available, and with their own sophisticated software systems.
Ware is a commercial and industrial boiler rental and service company that specializes in sales, service, valve repair, rentals, parts, turn key and boiler training. It announced its plan to significantly reduce the cost, and improve the speed, of taking inventory with a new drone-based inventory management system, that works with a Skydio 2 drone.
Ian Smith, co-founder and CEO of Ware, was interviewed by DRONELIFE and talked about solving real problems and why the warehousing industry is the perfect space for drone technology at this particular time.
According to Smith, managers have been searching for an automated solution to track inventory for years in the warehousing industry. Drone technology has made it possible for drones to have advanced to the point where there is automation and obstacle avoidance indoors.
Smith puts it:
“Automated indoor use cases have always been exciting but have historically been disregarded as improbable due to the difficulty of having the aircraft navigate indoors safely in a GPS-denied environ-ment. Today, the capability of drone technology has increased to the point where it makes new, indoor use cases possible.”
Smith makes the point that warehouses and distribution centers have been “clamoring for solutions to help track their inventory reliably and accurately.”
He states further:
“Today, we can finally make this a reality with the combination of state-of-the-art drone hardware and machine learning techniques for processing the data.”
A Ready Market
Joe Moster, co-founder of Ware, says that his company is responding to “a known problem with a solution that works”
and that the market is poised to learn about it:
“The response from customers is incredible. We’re getting entire supply chain departments of large, Fortune 100 organizations—from directors to senior managers—coming out on the warehouse floor to watch the drones fly autonomously and excitedly listing off all of the new efficiencies they’ll gain by implementing our solution.
The bigger an organization gets, the more they benefit from our technology. It’s always been a big challenge to ensure that inventory is being counted accurately and cost effectively.”
Joe Moster, co-founder, Ware, says that his company is responding to “a known problem with a solution that works.” This is a winning combination that has led to inventory management providing a big opportunity for the commercial drone market.
It is up to those of us who see the potential to seize the opportunity and the moment, because the evidence is that this is an ideal time to plunge into this market.
Miriam McNabb, “DRONELIFE Exclusive: Ware CEO Ian Smith on the Next Big Vertical for Commercial” (March 10, 2020)