- Warehouses may soon be equipped with tiny drones capable of managing inventory via RFID, engadget reported. Named RFly, the new unmanned areal vehicle (UAV) is considered by MIT developers to be the best new way of tracking inventory autonomously.
- The technology enables miniature drones to fly around the upper areas of warehouses while reading RFID tags on inventory from significant distance with only a 19 cm margin of error.
- Because the drones are too small to lift actual RFID readers, the drones instead relay signals back to existing RFID-reading systems, software and tags.
Drones continually demonstrate their potential within the supply chain, whether through site-specific delivery at Walmart or through the transport of medical provisions at challenging locations. And though the FAA believes the machines will fill the skies by 2021, both privacy and security concerns continue to delay their widespread adoption.
Yet some uses seem to be perfectly appropriate already. Lightweight drones operating within a contained environment like a warehouse appear to be in line with commercial usage, as described by the Senate in June. However, the notation that prohibitions remain regarding drones' ability to "fly over people" could prevent their deployment as RFID-adjacent inventory managers. The ongoing delays are preventing progress, particularly in areas where we're experiencing the most economic growth.