Drones are being used to keep Ikea workers safe and ease work load.
IKEA has been exploring the use of drones for various purposes, including improving its supply chain operations and enhancing their customers experience.
In 2019, IKEA partnered with the drone delivery startup Manna to test the delivery of food items in Ireland. The test involved delivering food items using drones to customers' homes within a 2.5-mile radius of the store.
Additionally, in 2020, IKEA partnered with Verity to test a drone-based inventory management system in one of its warehouses in Sweden. The system involved using drones to scan and identify inventory levels in the warehouse, making it easier for employees to track inventory and replenish stock.
Ikea has just announced a huge milestone of reaching 100 Verity drones across their European warehouses. The duo initially deployed aerial workers in a handful of Switzerland locations. Now, however, the drones can also be found in 16 locations across the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Slovenia, Croatia, and Belgium.
Ingka, the legal body overseeing the majority of Ikea locations, the drones are helping improve stock accuracy and maintain up-to-date item availability for both physical and online retail. From sunrise to sunset when locations are closed, the Verity drones take off from their charging stations to swoop warehouse pallets, capturing video, images, and even 3D depth scans of items accurately. Once task is complete, they will return to charging stations, and download data for managers to review.
The goal of their existence in the workplace helps to provide a more ergonomic environment for the drones’ human co-workers, it decreases the need for them to manually confirm each pallet regardless of height.
“Introducing drones and other advanced tools – such as, for example, robots for picking up goods – is a genuine win-win for everybody. It improves our co-workers’ wellbeing, lowers operational costs, and allows us to become more affordable and convenient for our customers,” Tolga Öncu, Head of Retail at Ingka, said in their announcement last week.
Technology is progressing and we are continually finding new ways to improve safety and improve logistics both in construction and retails.
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