UK grocer’s robot army moves 2 million food items per day
Recent photos depict how U.K. grocery Ocado is using an army of 2,000 robots to pick up 2 million food items per day, a rate five times faster than a trained human worker.
According to a report in the Daily Mail, the bots are working at Ocado’s 563,000 square foot warehouse in Erith, London.
Powered by an algorithm, the bots move on tracks picking up food items at the fulfillment center, and work over the course of daily 20 hour shifts.
Each eight wheeled robot moves around a giant grid-like structure dubbed the “Hive”, for its honeycomb-like holes that contain the inventory. The robots pick up crates of items that are taken to a human and put into shopping bags for delivery.
The Hive structure houses all the products, which are stored in boxes on the floor. Deliveries are then unpacked into crates, which are stored in large stacks, up to 17 boxes high.
The report said although the position appears to be random, it is decided by the algorithm, with frequently accessed items placed on top and rarer purchases near the bottom.
James Matthews, CEO of Ocado Technology, said that the single warehouse is the equivalent of 35 supermarkets under one roof.
“Between them, they are covering the distance of four and half times the circumference of the earth every day,” Matthews said.
To see photos and videos of the "Hive" visit the Dailymail.co.uk
Photo: Ocado/Channel 4 via Dailymail.co.uk