4th December 2019: IAG Cargo today announced that it has successfully trialled autonomous drone technology within its warehouse facility in Madrid. Designed around the automation of freight checks, the technology will help improve efficiency and reliability of its operations.
Conducted using technology developed by drone software start-up FlytBase, the trials come after IAG Cargo found it was spending an average of 6,500 hours each year recording the barcodes and location data of freight across their individual warehouses.
Due to the drones’ use of the 3D space, degree of autonomy, and continuous advancement in intelligent automation software, IAG Cargo identified a viable solution to increase accuracy within the warehouse.
Carly Morris, Head of Innovation, IAG Cargo, commented:
“We are continuously looking for solutions to increase the efficiency and accuracy of our logistical operations, so we are delighted that the trials with FlytBase have been successful so far.
“Watching our autonomous drone take off, navigate our warehouse, collect valuable location and barcode data, and then return itself to an origin point for self-charging is an incredible sight, and shows the huge potential drones have in the aviation and logistics sectors.
“This trial is only one aspect of IAG Cargo’s continuous programme of innovation and investment which changes how logistics works, challenges the status quo and ensures our customers receive the best possible service. We have more exciting new technology tests and trials in 2020 that will help change the way our industry approaches some age-old problems.”
Two separate trials have now been successfully completed by IAG Cargo which saw the FlytBase developed technology complete tasks including:
- Drone autonomously navigates across multiple racks by flying over-the-top
- Drone accurately detects and reads AWBs and identifies empty slot locations
- Drone automatically returns itself to charging doc for self-charging.
There will be a continuation of testing of certain elements of the drone operation early next year in order to make improvements on what has already been achieved.
Notes to editors
About IAG Cargo:
IAG Cargo is the single business created following the merger of British Airways World Cargo and Iberia Cargo in April 2011. Following the integration of additional airlines into the business, including Aer Lingus and Vueling, IAG Cargo now covers a global network of over 350 destinations.
In 2018 IAG Cargo had a commercial revenue of €1,173 million. It has a combined workforce of more than 2,470 people.
Its parent company, International Airlines Group, is one of the world’s largest airline groups with 573 aircraft. It is the third largest group in Europe and the sixth largest in the world, based on revenue.
For further information on IAG Cargo, please visit the IAG Cargo YouTube channel:
FlytBase is an enterprise drone software company whose mission is to help businesses automate and scale drone operations.
With a hardware-agnostic platform that features edge intelligence, cloud connectivity and APIs, FlytBase is uniquely positioned to leverage cost-effective drones, at scale, for indoor applications.
The autonomous solution FlytWare for warehouses, DCs, cargo hubs and other inventory-heavy facilities features not only precision landing and obstacle avoidance, but also an operator-friendly dashboard which requires minimal training.
With the cloud connected option built into the solution, FlytWare can potentially be used at each hub – as well as at corporate headquarters – to plan, execute, monitor, repeat and audit inventory counting missions.