Vision-based inventory system wins U.S. Army nod

by Inside Logistics Online Staff

A vision-based inventory system has been selected as a finalist in a U.S. Army competition to uncover new technologies that will assist in its modernization.

Macro-Eyes, Inc was selected as the winner of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology’s (ASA(ALT)) xTechSearch 6 proof-of-concept finals.

The Macro-Eyes Vision Based Inventory Management (VBIM) mobile based supply chain technology was selected from 19 finalists, narrowed down from more than 200 companies.

The xTechSearch looks to small businesses to uncover novel dual-use science and technology solutions. Dual use technologies are designed and built to benefit both the commercial and the national security sectors.

The VBIM technology is an application for identifying and rapidly counting supply – with a single click. The user points their device at a shelf or a drawer or supply spread across a table and takes a picture.

The app then does the rest: identifying the commodities in the image, and generating a count to verify stock in real time. Snap a picture, generate an inventory ledger. The company claims its system is over 50 times faster than a manual count, and delivers a less than 2.5 percent error rate.

Developed for health care

Network connectivity is not required, the technology is built and proven to work offline. Macro-Eyes developed it to aid in healthcare supply chain operations in low- and middle-income countries where networks and inventory systems are lacking.

During the Covid-19 pandemic the system assessed the Covid-19 readiness of every health facility in Sierra Leone – and every federally qualified health centre in the State of California – without visiting a single site.

Macro-Eyes entered the defence contest to address what the U.S. General Accounting Office called a “dangerous gap in visibility” at the operating edge for the US Army.

“This is an important opportunity for Macro-Eyes to engage with the U.S. Army. The Army orchestrates one of the largest, most complex supply chains in the world”, said Macro-Eyes CEO Benjamin Fels.

“As a company, we focused on the hardest problems in the supply chain right from the start – demand forecasting for precision allocation of medicines and health resources in Cote d’Ivoire, Sierra Leone, India, and Mozambique. We deployed core AI to build Position and Navigation (PN) technology for the Air Forces Research Laboratory (AFRL) and Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC). Working with the Army on inventory management is a natural fit and we are honored to expand where and how we can serve the US Government.”