Cypher Robotics and Captis gain attention at Automate 2024

Cypher Robotics and Captis gain attention at Automate 2024

By Scott Simmie


Cypher Robotics was on the road this week. Specifically, the InDro-incubated company was at the big Automate 2024 show in Chicago. It’s North America’s largest robotics and automation event, and a conference that’s geared toward the industrial sector.

Looking for a robot that can pick and place? Move inventory off a truck and into a warehouse? How about an Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR) capable of lifting and moving even immensely heavy loads? You’ll find all of that – and more – here. There are even manipulators that can mix drinks or make you a fine cappuccino. It’s a showcase for the future (and even the present) of everything from manufacturing to the restaurant space. And it’s all in one place.

This short video provides a pretty good overview. Trust us, there’s a lot of robotics at this show.



If you follow the news from InDro on a regular basis (and who doesn’t?), you’ll likely recognise the Cypher Robotics name. The Ottawa-based company specialises in robotic solutions for cycle counting and inventory management at scale. InDro Robotics has an incubation agreement with Cypher Robotics, and assisted in the development and testing of its signature launch product – Captis.

Captis is a system that integrates an autonomous ground robot with a drone that’s attached to the base with a tether. That tether provides power for the drone and handles data between the drone and the ground robot. As the robot navigates even narrow warehouse aisles, the drone ascends to the various levels of stock on the shelves. That Robot Operating System- (ROS) based drone then scans any and all codes (it’s code-agnostic) on products as the robot works its way forward.

And the data? It’s instantly integrated into a company’s existing Warehouse Management System (WMS), WCS (Warehouse Control System) and WES (Warehouse Execution System) software. The power storage in the Captis base means autonomous missions can last up to five hours before the system returns to home for wireless recharging. This is a huge differentiator from solutions that count stock with a drone alone, since flight times are limited.

What’s more, Captis is also capable of autonomous RFID scanning, with the same data instantly loaded into those same management systems. So you can actually set Captis free on a showroom floor and it will find its way around using its own brains and sensors – all while counting stock.

“Operations managers and pretty much everyone on the floor understands how important it is for inventory to be accurate in their Warehouse Management System,” explains Stacey Connors, InDro’s Head of Strategic Initiatives. She was at Automate 2024 on behalf of Cypher Robotics.

“Organizations that want to make the right business decisions quickly need to be empowered with the data of what inventory they have on hand at any given time so they can pull quick triggers. ‘How much do we have and where is it? Do we want to sell product X to a reseller or distributor?’ Inventory accuracy and data are invaluable in making these decisions quickly,” says Connors.




Already, Cypher Robotics has forged some powerful partnerships in the industry. It has teamed up with AI fulfilment leaders GreyOrange, global telecommunications innovator Ericsson, and a leading Canadian retailer with several hundred retail locations across the country. (In fact, much of the testing and hardening of the Captis system took place in one of that partner’s massive warehouses.)

Cypher Robotics has also quickly gained attention. When Captis was displayed at the big Modex convention earlier this year, it gained significant buzz – and was even covered by the likes of TechCrunch. That’s not surprising, since Modex is a convention that focusses on automation within the supply chain. Though Automate 2024 had a broader focus, Captis once again attracted a lot of interest. Cypher Robotics was invited by Ericsson to share its display, which focussed on a wide range of robotic and IoT solutions that operate over 5G or private 5G networks – which Ericsson supplies. (Captis can also operate and transfer data over secure WiFi.)

Cypher Robotics Captis Automate 2024



The appeal of Captis is simple: It’s hands-free and highly accurate. It literally goes about and does its cycle counting or RFID scans on its own, working shifts of up to five hours before recharging. Most warehouses still rely on manual solutions, sending people out with hand-scanners to carry out what is a pretty dull and even potentially dangerous task. (Think of how high some of those warehouse stacks are.)

Attrition rates are high, because human beings get bored of highly repetitive tasks, especially if they’re intrinsically unrewarding. In one of the cases we looked at, a 1.2 million square foot warehouse that runs 24/7 has a human being scanning full-time on all three shifts, throughout the day and overnight. A single Captis unit can do all of this more efficiently and accurately, allowing those people to find more satisfying or meaningful work.

“It is a mundane job that is hard to keep people in because you train them and three months later they’re tired of counting so they move on. So labour attrition and retention is an issue, and human error in a mundane job is a reality,” explains Connors. “Cypher stands out from all of the solutions because just a single device is needed for even a million square foot warehouse.”




The other big feature of Captis is its ability to multi-task. Specifically, it can carry out precision 3D scans of industrial spaces in extraordinary resolution while it’s doing other work. These scans are valuable for planning, monitoring construction or renovations, simulations prior to adopting other technologies – even for creating plans to duplicate an entire facility.

“I’d say half of my conversations at Automate 2024 were around the ability of Captis to capture a precise, digital point cloud of their environment while it’s doing other tasks,” says Connors.

“A theme throughout the entire conference was how critical simulation is prior to or during the assessment or adoption of a new technology. And in order to have an accurate simulation, you need an accurate representation of the environment. Captis provides this.”

Before we wrap up, it’s worth mentioning that while the tethered drone and extraordinary run-times are key components of this system, some of the most complex magic is due to the robot’s autonomy stack. With its proprietary combination of hardware and software, Captis can be placed in a completely unfamiliar, GPS-denied environment and still get the job done.

“The secret sauce of our total solution is absolutely the embedded autonomy,” says Connors.


Below: Stacey Connors with Captis at the Modex show


Stacey Connors Captis MODEX



Automate 2024 is an important conference, showcasing the cutting-edge in industrial robotics right across the sector. It was the perfect venue to let interested parties know about Cypher Robotics and its Captis solution. It was also, yet again, validation of the Cypher Robotics value proposition and business plan.

“It’s great to see the excitement continue to build around Captis,” says Connors. “We’re grateful to our partners Ericsson for inviting us to display alongside them, and there’s no doubt 5G and private networks will play a role in this product’s future.”

And that future? It’s now.

“Cypher Robotics has tested and hardened its technology, and the company will soon be shipping its first orders.”

Interested in learning more? You can contact the Cypher Robotics team here.

Cypher Robotics announces Captis – a new solution for industrial scanning

Cypher Robotics announces Captis – a new solution for industrial scanning

By Scott Simmie


Perhaps you’ve already seen the news.

A new Canadian tech company, Cypher Robotics, has unveiled a groundbreaking solution for inventory cycle counting and precision scanning at the industrial level. The company made its announcement at MODEX2024, one of the premiere global conferences for the supply chain ecosystem. The company also announced key partnerships with AI-driven fulfilment experts GreyOrange and global telecommunications innovator Ericsson. In addition, Cypher revealed it has partnered with an as-yet unnamed Canadian retail giant with more than 300 locations.

The system integrates an autonomous ground robot with tethered drone technology, allowing for scanning missions lasting some five hours in duration between charging. Data is uploaded in realtime to existing Warehouse Management System (WMS), WCS (Warehouse Control System) and WES (Warehouse Execution System) software. What’s more, the system can navigate even tight aisles autonomously without any infrastructure changes.

So why is InDro keen on sharing this news? We’ll get to that.

First, have a look at how it works:



If you guessed InDro has a strong connection with Cypher Robotics, you were correct.

InDro Robotics has an incubator agreement with Cypher, and helped to develop this product. InDro is also an investor in the company.

“This is the future of warehouse robotics,” says InDro Robotics CEO Philip Reece, who has founded or co-founded multiple successful companies in the robotics, drone and R&D spaces.

“It completely eliminates the dull and repetitive task of scanning by hand, freeing up employees to do more satisfying work. It also frees up or eliminates the need for equipment like modified forklifts that have been previously required for the task.”

Reece was quoted in a news release launching Cypher Robotics and its flagship solution, which is called Captis.

Here’s a look at the system. The tethered drone ascends vertically from the Captis base, scanning product as the ground robot moves seamlessly down aisles as narrow as five feet (1.524 metres).

Below: The Captis system integrates a Robot Operating System (ROS) based drone with an autonomous ground robot


Cypher Robotics Captis



More detailed information about Cypher Robotics and Captis was revealed in the following news release:

(ATLANTA): Cypher Robotics today unveiled a new standard for efficient and accurate cycle counting scanning for industry at MODEX2024 – one of the sector’s leading annual global conferences. The company also revealed partnerships with AI-driven automation leaders GreyOrange and technology company Ericsson, plus a leading Canadian retailer.

Incubated by Canada’s InDro Robotics, Cypher calls its solution ‘The Future of Warehouse Robotics’, and here’s why: It combines both aerial and ground robotics technology into a single, integrated package.

That solution is called Captis – an autonomous ground vehicle that can find its way around warehouses all on its own. It won’t bump into people or objects, and requires no infrastructure changes. When it’s time for cycle counting, it uses drone technology attached to the ground robot with a tether – used to power the drone and for realtime data transfer. The drone ascends vertically and begins scanning products (it’s code-agnostic) as the Captis base navigates its way down even-narrow corridors.

Based in Ottawa, Cypher Robotics has a specialised engineering team and state-of-the-art fabrication. Comprehensive, real-world testing has been carried out over several months in partnership with a major Canadian retailer that has more than 300 locations across the country.

The system can capture data with 99.9 per cent accuracy autonomously for up to five hours per mission. That data is automatically integrated with existing Warehouse Management System (WMS), WCS (Warehouse Control System) and WES (Warehouse Execution System) software. Captis eliminates the costs associated with manual cycle counts, improves inventory accuracy, and ensures seamless timeline replenishment while avoiding both over- and under-stocking items.

What’s more, Captis can simultaneously carry out highly detailed precision scans of infrastructure (more on this in the future).

Sound technologically complex? It is. But it’s also a breeze to operate. 

“Captis is completely a hands-off product,” says Philip Reece, who has founded or co-founded multiple successful companies in the robotics, drone and R&D spaces. Those include InDro Robotics, the Canadian leader in ground and aerial robotics R&D, which has also invested in Cypher Robotics.

“When we say this is ‘the future of warehouse robotics’, we mean it. It completely eliminates the dull and repetitive task of scanning by hand, freeing up employees to do more satisfying work. It also frees up or eliminates the need for equipment like modified forklifts that have been previously required for the task.”

Cypher has partnered with warehouse fulfilment experts GreyOrange and global telco innovator Ericsson.

“The Captis autonomous cycle counting solution is powered by GreyOrange’s GreyMatter, our fulfillment orchestration platform,” says Akash Gupta, Co-Founder and CEO, GreyOrange. “We are excited that Cypher Robotics has joined GreyOrange’s Certified RangerTM Network (CRN) ecosystem. Cypher’s Captis solution is a great option for companies new to automation and robotics to begin leveraging such tech since only one bot is needed per warehouse on average.”

Manish Tiwari, Head of Private Cellular Networks, Ericsson Business Area Enterprise Wireless Solution says: “Captis is an innovative solution that listens to the industry’s needs and efficiently answers them. Being connected to Ericsson Private 5G allows Captis to traverse warehouses while maintaining consistent connectivity which ensures the safety of employees and devices. The low latency of the connection allows for immediate validation of data and the ability to re-capture it to maintain accuracy. The solution ensures that the organization’s data is protected throughout the process.  Ericsson is looking forward to continued collaboration and innovation with Cypher that will help our customers’ digitalization efforts.”

Below: Captis is built for scanning and is code-agnostic. Barcodes, QR codes and more are scanned autonomously and the data instantly integrated with existing warehouse management software

Cypher Robotics Captis



We are obviously excited about this announcement. The supply chain is a huge sector, and the automation of the supply chain is growing rapidly. Cypher Robotics believes this is the first system manufactured in North America to integrate aerial and ground robotics in a single solution.

“It’s been a very satisfying process to see Cypher Robotics develop Captis with incubation assistance from us,” says InDro Robotics CEO Philip Reece.

“It was already a technologically challenging build to create a ground robot that can navigate tight spaces autonomously in an unfamiliar setting. Combining that with drone technology adds a whole other level of complexity. We’re pleased that InDro was able to assist with incubation and look forward to seeing where Captis goes.”

In addition to cycle counting, the Captis system also has Precision Scanning capabilities. It can provide updated 2D and 3D digital twins as it carries out its other work, empowering operations with a digital environment for scenario planning. It’s also capable of RFID scanning.

More on these other significant features…to come.