Think robots are a thing of the future? Think again. Ocado Technology has created robots that anticipate what you need. Thomas Roszak was working as a maintenance technician at Ocado. Based in their giant warehouse in Hatfield when he received a very unusual assignment.
His regular job involved repairing and maintaining the online supermarket’s automated sorting and packing system. The system puts together grocery orders from customers. It can be physically demanding work, manipulating heavy panels and working with other pieces of bulky machinery.
Research and Development
In a project designed to ease that burden, Ocado Technology, had been developing robots. They anticipate what you need. Can recognise when a technician might need help. As well as stepping in with either the right tool or help with lifting.
Mr Roszak was asked to help test the machine. He saw it for the first time and was taken back to his childhood. He said “I grew up on movies like The Terminator. So, when I saw that robot, I was actually impressed with what it looked like. You can actually imagine it looks like a man.”
For Mr Roszak, the robot’s strength was a real asset. One test job involved removing a heavy metal plate from above head height. A human would struggle to hold the plate for more than two or three minutes. However, the robot found it “easy” to hold the plate in place, while Mr Roszak undid the bolts.
Read the full article from the BBC news team at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-52547331
Experimenting with robots for grocery picking and packing
Ocado Technology often hits the news under headlines of innovation in the field of AI and robotics. Over the past couple of years, we’ve announced our involvement in several high-profile research projects. Including the SoMa soft manipulation system and the SecondHands technician robot. This is because our robotics research team faces a remarkable challenge. To develop smart and generalised robotic solutions. Systems capable of picking the 50,000 different items available on Ocado.com safely and reliably.
While humans can quickly learn and develop all manner of strategies for grasping various items based on what they intend to do with them, robots need to be taught these strategies and that’s why AI plays such an important role too.
Since this ever-growing range of products has different form factors and physical properties, the SoMa and SecondHands projects will help us develop a new suite of robotic grippers and grasping strategies in partnership with Europe’s leading technical universities. While making significant progress on those projects, we are also developing more immediate in-house solutions using off the shelf components that can pick a significant proportion of our products.
Today we’d like to introduce one of these new and exciting breakthroughs in robotic picking developed by Ocado Technology. The system has been designed by our robotics research team. To pick a range of groceries from our highly automated warehouses called Customer Fulfilment Centres.
How can we help?
We can’t build robots that anticipate what you need. However, LIS can help your business. with your IT requirements. Do you have a new idea that is in the research and development stage? If so, this would be an ideal opportunity to contact the LIS Help Desk. The business world is changing, and we are all relying on the latest technology. Make sure you stay ahead of the competition. Our friendly an experienced team are more than happy to help.
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