Optimizing Inventory Management: Introducing Dynamsoft Panorama
Controlling and overseeing a barcode inventory system accurately and efficiently is an important part of optimizing your supply chain. This is especially the case with automated storage and retrieval systems that have thousands or millions of SKUs.
The panorama feature in a smartphone camera is a popular consumer application. It lets users capture a very wide view of a scene by stitching together several photos. This feature, applied to industrial applications, can have different usage scenarios compared to the general consumer.
Driven by safety, convenience and low-cost, many warehouses turn to tracking inventory using mobile devices, such as automated guided vehicles (AGV), mobile robots, or drones. In this article, we will show you how drones can improve inventory management efficiency through Dynamsoft Panorama™.
How Dynamsoft Panorama™ Works with a Drone
A drone with a camera can move alongside boxes or shelves while the barcode reader software simultaneously captures the barcode images. With Dynamsoft Panorama™, the operator receives a stitched image on the server-side, which helps them take a panoramic view of the situation and discover any missed barcodes in real-time and view text results of the barcodes.
Aside from algorithmic advantages, some engineering skills are applied to improve the interactive performance of the Dynamsoft Panorama™ feature. The implementation is separated into two components: capturing and stitching.
Dynamsoft Panorama™ offers two modes: Local mode and Server mode.
With the local mode, images are captured via the stream and are stitched together on the device (i.e. smartphone, tablet). Since this method requires sufficient storage and battery capacity, it may not be ideal for large projects.
With the Server mode, images are captured in a stream and uploaded to a computer via the network where they are stitched together.
- The capturing device is light and portable, such as a smartphone, whereas the stitching server needs to be powerful since it is responsible for generating and displaying the panoramic image.
- In real time, the stitching server would send commands that guide the capturing device to adjust its capture frame rate and capture speed as needed. In the stitching server, frames are buffered according to the available memory and are selected deliberately to balance between time and quality requirements. Multiple threads are designated to perform buffer management, frame selection, barcode recognition, transformation matrix calculation and image stitching respectively.
This method is ideal for both small and large projects since storage capacity and battery consumption are less of an issue. Also, since the stitched images are usually large, a bigger screen helps the warehouse manager better reviews the result.
Dynamsoft Panorama™ Stitches Fast
Developers are continually tasked with implementing advanced warehousing technology for many business reasons. Dynamsoft Panorama™ can help businesses gain insight while eliminating the costs of missed scans and related productivity losses. Furthermore, its light-weight design is highly attractive for businesses to adopt this solution.
Compared with a general panorama algorithm, the advantage of Dynamsoft Panorama™ comes from using the intermediate results from barcode recognition. It calculates a transformation matrix between two frames based on a variety of data:
- Quadrilaterals of barcodes
- Contours of objects
- Line segments of objects
- Localized SURF features (for similarity-invariant representation and comparison of frames)
Although the stitching process is similar to how the general panorama smartphone feature works, time is significantly reduced because of the heuristic space range limitation from the former three data types.
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Let us know if you have any questions about barcode reading and image stitching.