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 ")

The Dune Ornithopter, Movie And Book
'The wings were at full spread-rest, their delicate metal interleavings extended.' Frank Herbert, 1965.

Two Towns Linked By Sculpture Portal In Real Time
'I am the Guardian of Forever.' - Gene Roddenberry, 1967.

Plasma Window Technology, Pressure Cushions and Deflector Doors
'The Marine Gunner stepped gingerly through the invisible barrier. He had to push.' - Niven and Pournelle, 1974.

Giant Telescope Lenses Made In Space
'...a cyclopean beast living among the asteroidal rubble of some distant sun.' - Arthur C. Clarke, 1953.

 

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

Your Martian Dream Home, Made By Fungi
'... it was the cheapest building material known.'

The Dune Ornithopter, Movie And Book
'The wings were at full spread-rest, their delicate metal interleavings extended.'

100X Improvement In DNA Information Storage
'A record that wouldn't get lost and couldn't be destroyed.'

NASA 'Holoports' Doctor Onto Space Station
Star Trek Voyager Emergency Medical Hologram

Should We Train AIs To Imagine A Future Of Horrific Disasters
'LET ME TELL YOU HOW MUCH I'VE COME TO HATE YOU SINCE I BEGAN TO LIVE.'

Mouth Haptics Invented By Frederik Pohl In 1965, CMU Now Has Prototype
'What he got was indeed a kiss. It was disconcerting. No kissing lips were visible.'

Two Towns Linked By Sculpture Portal In Real Time
'I am the Guardian of Forever.'

3D Printed Robotic Tentacles
'... articulate ropes of steel dangling'

Update: Musk Doubles Down On Optimus Prime Humanoid Robot
'I shall introduce myself. I am R. Daneel Olivaw... I am a robot. Were you not told?'

Elon Musk: Production Of Robotaxis In 2024
'How about the steering wheel... I don't need one.'

True Crime Live Podcasting In Fiction
'And loving it too, those millions. Bloodthirsty to the last one of them.'

AI Employment Decision Software Reconsidered By California Lawmakers
'They had screwed up and been blacklisted by Manna. They were back living with their parents or sleeping on the sofa with a friend.'

Six Ships Are Now Docked At The International Space Station!
It's getting crowded up there!

SUCHO Saving Ukraine's Libraries Digitally
'No human mind could ever hope to master even a small portion of what was being received every second, Sam thought, but it would all be there...'

Optimus Prime Tesla Robot Overall Humanoid Software Architecture
'I shall introduce myself. I am R. Daneel Olivaw... I am a robot. Were you not told?'

Vast Cosmic Structures And Spooky Alignments
'This postulates a force-field of partly electromagnetic character, generated by gyromagnetic action within atomic nuclei near the center of the galaxy.'

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.