IKEA has announced that its stores are already using 100 autonomous drones to help keep track of goods after hours. The company signed a cooperation agreement with drone manufacturer Verity in 2020. A year later, IKEA began testing in a Swiss store. And drones are already performing tasks in 16 locations in Belgium, Croatia, Slovenia, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.
The company notes that drones help to increase the accuracy of information about the availability and quantity of products, and also make it easier for employees, because they do not need to do manual calculations.
Verity specializes in the production of autonomous drones for warehouses and even concerts. Drones take off from charging stations, after which they are directed to pallets with products for taking photos, videos, or 3D scanning of objects. In the case of IKEA, drones fly between 22:30 and 04:00 and scan the barcodes of the products on the boxes.
When finished, the drones return to their charging stations to download the collected data. The devices not only help to count the amount of stock, but also determine when something is missing or an item is out of place.