• The John Lewis Partnership has entered into an agreement with the Small Robot Company for a three-year trial to test out a trio of miniature farmbots on Lewis' Leckford Estate to test ways in which automation can increase agricultural efficiency.
  • ​Online supermarket Ocado has made great efforts to automate the workplace, with pick and pack robots, for example, and a mechanoid helper for maintenance personnel. Now it has virtually opened the doors to a highly automated warehouse to allow customers to see how their shopping is handled.​
  • Delivery trucking is a dirty business, but the companies that rely on it are working to clean things up – and compressed natural gas is emerging as a useful alternative to our reliance on diesel power. In the UK, Scania has created a fleet of CNG-powered trucks for long range deliveries.
  • Would you change the food you bought if you knew more about it? The Supermarket of the Future, the new flagship store of Coop Italia, has been built on the principle that you would, with interactive tables, smart shelves and real time data visualizations providing food, deals and cooking info.
  • Recently opened vertical farms from the likes of FarmedHere and AeroFarms allow produce to be grown more efficiently, transported shorter distances and arrive fresher in stores. A vertical farm in Germany, however, is going more local and fresher still, with produce actually being grown in-store.
  • UK supermarket Tesco says it will update the voice and phrases of its self-service checkouts. This, in itself, is nothing notable, but the reasoning behind it tilts at a broader issue: how we expect computers and robots to address us. Tesco's opinion? We don't want them bossing us around.
  • An Israeli electrical engineer has invented a motorized shopping trolley to make it easier to push a full load of groceries around the store and back to your car. The system, which carries loads of up to 120 kg (265 lbs), can be retrofitted onto existing carts or integrated into new builds.
  • A supermarket in France has become the first in the world to install an "indoor positioning system" created by Philips. The LED-based technology acts like a sat-nav for shoppers, providing in-store directions to shopping list items via their phones.
  • No-one likes spending any longer at the supermarket than they have to. Whilst self-service checkouts may have sped things up a touch, one UK supermarket is now set to trial doing away with checkouts altogether. The new Sainsbury's app lets users scan items at the shelf and pay via their smartphone.