IAG Cargo successfully trials autonomous drone technology in Madrid

posted on 4th December 2019 by Eddie Saunders
IAG Cargo successfully trials autonomous drone technology in Madrid

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

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.