British online supermarket Ocado has previously demonstrated its love of automation in the workplace by showcasing pick and pack robots and a mechanoid helper for maintenance personnel. It's even piloted a self-driving delivery service in Greenwich, London. Now the company has virtually opened the doors to a highly automated warehouse to allow customers to see how their shopping is handled.
Ocado's Andover fulfillment center went operational in December 2016 and is home to a huge aluminum grid containing stacked storage crates full of groceries in 250,000 storage locations. Robot pickers perform a carefully choreographed dance over the tracked upper surface, pick up the white crates and transport them to pick stations where personal shoppers fulfill customer orders.
The grid has been built to handle over a thousand robots, and each one is reckoned to travel between 50 and 60 km every day at up to 4 meters per second. When two robot pickers pass one another, the gap between them is just 5 mm. The online supermarket says that it only takes 5 minutes to pick and pack items at the warehouse.
Ocado has today released a 360° video tour of the Andover CFC, which can process more than 65,000 online orders every week when operating at full tilt.
Source: Ocado Technology
Want a cleaner, faster loading and ad free reading experience?
Try New Atlas Plus. Learn more