Friday, June 27, 2014

No. 842: Using an unmanned helicopter for material management (June 27, 2014)

Chiyoda Corporation, one of Japan’s leading engineering companies, will use an unmanned helicopter to manage materials for plant construction within the year. Plant construction usually takes 3-4 years, and nearly one million kinds of materials are stored in a vast material storing site. A large-scale construction project usually needs 300-350 staffs to manage materials. Chiyoda will introduce an unmanned helicopter loaded with the GPS function in the construction sites in the Southeast Asia and the Middle East within the year.

The helicopter in which the flight route is input beforehand will reads IC tags put on stored materials while it flies above 5-10 meters above the ground and takes photos to allow the operator to know the exact location of the material he is after. The helicopter to be introduced is made by enRoute that is a maker of radio-controlled products. It is priced about 750,000 yen a unit. The tag to be used in the material management is made of plastic and 0.8 mm thick, 100 mm long. It costs merely 50 yen apiece. Currently, a large number of staffs are required to manage materials in a storing site, and checking can be made several times a year. Chiyoda reckons that the unmanned helicopter can reduce the labor cost involved in materials management to one third. 

Spraying pesticide over paddy fields 
using an unmanned helicopter

Demonstration flight of an all-purpose 
unmanned helicopter

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