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Comparison of Tracking Solutions for a Factory or Warehouse

There are a variety of solutions on the market for tracking vehicles in a factory or warehouse, whether they are human-driven or autonomous. These options range in cost, ease of use, accuracy level, and the quantity and quality of data provided. We have compiled this chart for your reference. Naturally, as we have developed a technology that we believe is part of an ideal solution, we’ll begin with that as a baseline.

Technology

Pros

Cons

Sixdof

  • Provides position and orientation in real-time

  • Fast enough for safety application, i.e., forklift backing up (collision avoidance)

  • Accurate to cm. level

  • Not susceptible to multipath confusion

  • Unlimited number of vehicles can be tracked in space

  • Requires Sixdof sensor unit on item being tracked

  • Requires field of view to beacons

  • Beacon deployment, while not excessively expensive, is a requirement

GPS

​Can be useful for mapping assets moving in between warehouses, i.e., trucks for general location

  • GPS is blocked indoors

  • GPS accuracy is limited to three meters; good for broad location, not for navigation or small movements.

Bluetooth

​Inexpensive relative to other technologies

  • Only get rough location estimates.

  • Accuracy dependent on beacon density

  • No orientation of device

  • Susceptible to multipath confusion in complex environments

  • Need to manage many beacons; ’ batteries need to be replaced

LIDAR

Full 3D image of the scene including objects that are not connected with smart devices

  • Expensive

  • A massive amount of data processing and interpretation is needed to make sense of the data

  • Processing cannot be executed in real time

  • Needs sophisticated algorithms to extract usable data from the sceneS

Camera Solutions

  • Relatively inexpensive

  • You get footage that is easy for a human user to interpret

  • Get images of the scene that includes objects that are not connected to smart devices

  • Privacy issues: many secure locations will not allow this; also creates tension among employees

  • A massive amount of data processing and interpretation is needed to make sense of the data

  • Processing cannot be done in real time

  • Needs sophisticated algorithms to extract usable data from the scene

Ultra-Wide Band (UWB)

  • Immune to multipath effect

  • Low power consumption

  • Relatively simple to implement

  • Tags and readers are more expensive than similar technologies

  • Multiple receivers required and needed to be precisely calibrated

As you can see, technology developers are creating products for various tracking scenarios, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. When it comes to warehouse and factory vehicle tracking, the Sixdof solution is ideally suited without any significant compromise.

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