Cypher Robotics Captis System Generates Buzz at #MODEX2024

Cypher Robotics Captis System Generates Buzz at #MODEX2024

By Scott Simmie


MODEX2024 is a wrap.

And, for Cypher Robotics and its newly released Captis system for cycle counting and precision industrial scanning, the conference was an unmitigated success.

MODEX is one of the world’s preeminent supply chain automation shows. It’s held on alternating years with ProMat – much like the Farnborough International Air Show and the Paris–Le Bourget Air Show. The two supply chain shows attract something like 50,000 global buyers, so they’re really big.

It was at MODEX in Atlanta that Cypher Robotics, a company incubated by InDro Robotics, revealed its new solution. Captis integrates an autonomous mobile robot (AMR) with tethered drone technology for inventory cycle counting. The Captis base can autonomously navigate even narrow warehouse aisles without any infrastructure changes. As it moves down the aisle, a drone ascends from its nest atop the AMR, with a tether attached to the Captis base. That drone can scan any type of code on the box of the products (it’s code-agnostic).

And that tether? It’s a pipeline for both secure data and power. Data captured by the drone reaches the base in realtime, and is instantly uploaded and integrated with the facility’s existing Warehouse Management System (WMS), WCS (Warehouse Control System) and WES (Warehouse Execution System) software. Ample power storage in Captis means autonomous missions can last up to five hours before the system returns to base for a wireless recharge.

What’s more, the Captis system is also capable of RFID scanning and even precise industrial scanning for 2D and 3D digital twins. (These are major additional features, which we’ll be exploring in detail in forthcoming posts.)

We wrote about Cypher Robotics and its product launch here. But we’ve since had a chance to speak with the InDro team that assisted with that launch. InDro Vice President Peter King and Head of Strategic Initiatives Stacey Connors were in Atlanta, working with partners (and AI-fulfilment experts) GreyOrange and global telecommunications innovator Ericsson, which can easily set up private 5G networks in warehouses for ultra-secure data protection and throughput.

The verdict? Captis was a hit.

Below: Stacey Connors with Captis and GreyOrange at MODEX 2024. There’s a reason she looks so happy…


Stacey Connors Captis MODEX



The Supply Chain sector is going through something of an automation revolution. At every step of the way, robotics and software are being used to make these processes more efficient – and reduce the burden on human beings normally assigned to the tedious tasks of physically moving products or scanning by hand during cycle counting. There’s been a growing and global shift toward using robotics wherever possible.

“MODEX is getting more and more technical,” says InDro Vice President Peter King. “More and more robotic solutions are taking over that show. Alternatives to the traditional methods of supply chain operations are growing fast. Increasingly, companies are interested in automated ways of loading and unloading trucks, picking and placing objects, bringing inventory into the warehouse – and cycle counting.”

On that last issue, cycle counting and inventory management, King says many at MODEX2024 “identified this as a monster of an issue.”

One of the companies King spoke with at the show uses 26 full-time employees to do manual scanning in its six 750,000 square foot warehouses. It’s boring work, and expensive.

Obviously, there’s got to be a better and more efficient way. Deplying the Captis system would allow those 26 people to be reassigned more satisfying work.




There are already some solutions that implement drones for cycle counting. In fact, King says many of those interested in Captis had explored the possibility of drone-only solutions. But, he says, the short flight times between recharging and other issues have led many to seek a more comprehensive option with longer mission times.

That’s a key ingredient in the Captis secret sauce. By fully integrating a tether-based drone with the Captis AMR nest, Cypher Robotics has created a “drobot” (apologies to Skyland players) capable of scanning inventory in a medium-sized warehouse in a single go.

And that capability…has created a lot of interest.

“Captis really blew it out of the water,” says King. “We were the Belle of the Ball.”

There were two Captis systems on display at the show. One was with the GreyOrange exhibit and the second was at Ericsson’s booth. Head of Strategic Initiatives Connor was hearing the same stories – and seeing the same enthusiasm over Captis – as King.

Most organizations invested in consideration of drone technology for cycle counting within the past two years,” she says, “but concluded the payback and accuracy was not justifiable given the short run time of 10-15 mins per drone.

“So when they recognized this problem has been solved by Cypher’s tethered AMR, the excitement was obvious. Jaws dropped at the five-hour run time – and that no additional infrastructure was needed.”

Below: A lineup of potential clients waiting to discuss Captis at MODEX2024. You can just make out the back of Peter King’s head to the right of the robot. 

Captis MODEX2024



Cypher Robotics is an Ottawa-based company devoted to using robotics to gain efficiencies in the Supply Chain sector.

According to its website, “Cypher Robotics is modernizing warehouse operations with autonomous technologies that are replacing mundane and labour-intensive job functions. We are committed to delivering robotics solutions that are simple to integrate into an existing warehouse ecosystem, immediately providing an ROI for the operation.”

InDro Robotics could see the growing demand for this kind of solution, and invested in Captis. The two companies also signed an incubation agreement, whereby InDro was able to assist with engineering expertise for the development of the Captis system.

“With Captis, our fully autonomous cycle counting solution, manual cycle counts become a thing of the past. By enhancing operational margins and improving inventory accuracy, Captis significantly boosts efficiency,” continues the Cypher Robotics site.

“Cypher Precision Scan enables us to assist customers in eliminating the labour-intensive task of updating CAD files for scenario planning. Precision Scan offers a fully autonomous solution, efficiently capturing highly accurate digital twins of facilities, empowering better business decisions.”




The global automation for supply chain automation is huge. One company, Precedence Research, estimates this sector was worth $58B US globally in 2022, and predicts it will rise to an astonishing $196.01B by 2032. Companies are looking at using automation wherever it can be implemented for speed, efficiency and accuracy.

Why the sudden push? Well, the global COVID19 pandemic was part of it. Remember all the issues with the Supply Chain during the first year in particular? Well, it was triggered because many people carrying out the manual work in the supply chain weren’t on the job, or were at significantly lower numbers. This coincided with the rise in automated solutions. Soon, technology companies were offering faster and better ways of cycle counting and physically moving product using robotic solutions.

Identifying that demand was the genesis of Cypher Robotics.

In addition to cycle counting, Captis has a separate “crown” or dome that can be placed on the AMR when the tethered drone is not in use. That dome contains RFID sensors, meaning Captis can automously navigate a showroom, for example, and capture all inventory on a regular basis. It’s also capable of precision-level scanning of facilities, uploading updated data for digital twins. For potential clients, these multiple capabilities ticked a lot of boxes.

“I know Peter used this phrase, but we truly did feel like the Belle of the Ball,” says Connors. “The high volume of activity and interest around Captis continued to flow all week.”

King, who is also a veteran of many conferences over the years, described this as his “best” conference ever.

Anytime I told people that we didn’t want to disrupt their workflow, they lost their minds,” he says. “There was honestly nobody else at the show that had this kind of solution, and there’s incredible pent-up demand for precisely what Captis offers.”

Cypher Robotics Captis



InDro Robotics has watched Cypher Robotics and its Captis system take shape over the past two years. It’s been a very methodical process, with an eye on a comprensive and integrated solution for industry-at-large.

The result, Captis, is the first made-in-North America solution we are aware of that combines tethered drone technology (to reach those *really* high bins) with an Autonomous Mobile Robot. The company has a major Canadian retailer (with more than 300 locations across Canada) as a partner, and carried out R&D and testing for many months in its warehouses to perfect the solution.

“We’re pleased with the tremendous interest Captis generated at MODEX2024,” says InDro Robotics CEO and Cypher Robotics early investor Philip Reece.

“It took a lot of engineering to create this solution, and I’m proud of the assistance InDro was able to provide Cypher Robotics. Captis is a unique solution – and, based on the interest at MODEX2024, is going to be a huge success.”

You can learn more about Cypher Robotics, including contact info, here.