Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

 

RFly Drones Rule The Warehouse

Trying to keep track of everything in a warehouse is incredibly tedious and ultimately not possible. Until now.


(MIT drones finding missing objects>)

Imagine, a future where drones buzz around warehouses, scanning box after box of inventory, taking a single day to do the work that might take weeks for a team of humans.

But thereís one obvious problem thatís preventing these ultra-cheap, battery-free smart stickers from becoming the industry standard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology engineer Fadel Adib tells Inverse. That problem is distance.

ďIf you want to use RFID tags for inventory control, they only work from a very limited rangeĒ of about a few centimeters away from the reader, he says. Although they only cost a few cents, are powered wirelessly, and can make the inventory-logging process vastly more efficient, the savings donít add up because the work still requires humans to move through shelf after shelf, often in a massive warehouse, to manually read every object...

The MIT research team developed an aerial drone system capable of reading RFID tags from tens of meters away and identifying the location of the package within a 19-centimeter radius of accuracy. The drone system, called RFly, should allow for RFID-based inventory to be accomplished in large warehouses in a matter of hours or days, versus weeks and months the olí fashioned way.

I'm pretty sure engineer and science fiction writer James P. Hogan had this problem fixed (at least imaginatively) in his 1979 novel The Two Faces of Tomorrow; he used them as repair drones:

A sudden rushing sound, like that of high-velocity ducted air, mixed with a fainter electric whine, came from halfway up the wall to their right... It was an array of open compartments that looked like pigeon holes for mail, except that each was a foot or more square...

As they watched speechless, it slid smoothly out of its cell like a metal wasp emerging from its nest, and hung in midair a foot or so in front of the pigeonholes...

The wasp homed unerringly on the face of the honeycomb. It extended three of its tiny arms sideways to lock onto the registration pins located at intervals across the face and then, holding itself quite steady in the air, traversed slowly sideways until its axis was aligned with the array element from which Chris had taken the cartridge. Nobody could see quite what happened next because the wasp was flush against the face, but suddenly the widget-maker clicked into life again. The wasp detached itself and turned back to point at its cell. There was no need for Hayes to explain what had happened. It didn't take much thought to see that other wasps, equipped with suitable tools and carrying the right selection of parts, could replace far more things than just electronic microcartridges, provided of course that the equipment being serviced had been designed for it. "They're called drones," Hayes told them. "I'm sure I don't have to spell out the idea."

Via Inverse.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 8/11/2017)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Index of related articles:

What is RFID?
How RFID Works
How is RFID used inside a living body?
What can RFID be used for?
Is RFID Technology Secure and Private?
Are There Concerns About How RFID Will Be Used? (Update)
Next-Generation Uses of RFID?
What Are Zombie RFID Tags?
Problems With RFID
RFID Information Technology Articles
Advantages of RFID Versus Barcodes
RFID Glossary
Contactless Credit Card Advantages
Contactless Credit Card Disadvantages

Related News Stories - (" Engineering ")

Win $250K By Reading Ancient Scrolls Carbonized By Vesuvius
'... it was as if the upper part had been removed, like a cut deck of cards.' - James P. Hogan, 1977.

LIAM F1 UWT Clever Rooftop Windmill
'...a windmill on his roof...' - John Jacob Astor IV, 1894.

Liberty Lifter X-Plane From DARPA
'...the tremendous speed that the Jupiter was turning up under the thrust of her twenty-four screws whirling on the shafts of twelve powerful motors.' - Ed Earl Repp, 1929.

Synthetic Voices Demanded Of New Actors
'The tape-recorded synthetic voice spoke with its usual dispassionate calm.' - Thorton Ayre

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Current News

Win $250K By Reading Ancient Scrolls Carbonized By Vesuvius
'... it was as if the upper part had been removed, like a cut deck of cards.'

Toy-Like Robot Well-Being Coaches Are The Best
Sumomo will get those office workers into good shape!

AI-Trained Snack App Avatar Goes On Dates For You
'... who let their handbag computers carry all the conversation.'

M-Dwarf Stars May Not Have Habitable Planets
'Thus it came about that the search for a planetiferous sun near a white dwarf star was not unduly prolonged...'

Too Soon To Doom Lunar Farside Observatories
'Earth never shone there, but life was good.'

Amitabh Bachchan Wins Personality Protection
'He led me down the Hall of Portraits to the ego-likeness of the Duke Leto Atreides.'

LIAM F1 UWT Clever Rooftop Windmill
'...a windmill on his roof...'

Scent-Identifying Robot Uses Machine Learning
'It's picking up diphenyl compounds and tetrahydrocarbons...'

Volvo's Autonomous Truck
'They were automatic trucks such as are used for making deliveries...'

Skiing On The Moon - Skiing on Asteroids?
'MacIntyre bent down without a word and picked up the wide skis necessary to negotiate the powdery ash.'

Liberty Lifter X-Plane From DARPA
'...the tremendous speed that the Jupiter was turning up under the thrust of her twenty-four screws whirling on the shafts of twelve powerful motors.'

Robot Performs 3D Bioprinting Inside The Body
'Probably Runciter's body contained a dozen artiforgs...'

Bubloons May Be The Start Of Something Much Bigger
'Spurgle kicked at the letter G... It was a monstrous white thing, ten feet thick, half a city block long...'

Sleeping Pods In Tokyo Railway Stations
'... she was asleep before the lid sealed fully back in place.'

Wist Labs Makes Minority Report Family Videos Come True
Step inside your memory - it's immersive.

Robot Imagines Itself (Not The First Time This Has Happened)
'[Robots] have to discover their hands, feet, and other parts of their bodies'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.