Pensa Systems uses autonomous drones to track store inventory

There’s perhaps no retail task more time-consuming than taking stock of merchandise. Inventory tracking — that is, figuring out which products are in stock, which stock is likely to run low in the next week, and so on — is a never-ending battle, as shoppers spend an estimated 40 billion hours picking things off store shelves. It’s also error-prone — according to one study, employees regularly misplace nearly one in 10 items.

However, serial entrepreneur Richard Schwartz believes he has the answer, and it involves airborne drones with brace cages that resemble giant wiffle balls. Really.

Schwartz is the CEO and founder of Pensa Systems, an Austin startup developing a retail inventory system that taps computer vision algorithms to “understand” what’s on store shelves. Pensa has already trialed its platform with Anheuser-Busch InBev — a strategic investor — along with several other brands and retailers in multiple countries. And at the New York

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