Inside Ocado’s secret warehouse where army of 2,000 robots pick up to 2MILLION food items a day

OCADO is a United Kingdom-based online super market that’s finding an edge in the growing world of e-commerce using their robot-powered warehouse.

The company operates a futuristic warehouse staffed by robots.

The robots can pick up 2million items a day while cruising atop the hiveCredit: FOOD UNWRAPPED

The Ocado super warehouse stretches across 563,000 square feet in East London.

There are 2,000 robots rolling across the trusses of the “hive”, which is a gridded structure with baskets of products underneath.

There are about 50,000 different items in the Ocado store, and an algorithm directs the bots to distinguish between all of them while herding together orders.

The robots can work for 20 hours a day and five times more efficiently than a trained human employee.

James Matthews, the CEO of Ocado Technology, told Channel 4’s Food Unwrapped “Between them, they are covering the distance of four and half times the circumference of the earth every day.”

But there are humans involved in the final leg of the equation – the robots deliver the goods to a person that scans and bags the item with the assistance of a screen.

Tim Steiner, one of the founders of Ocado, said the transition to robot-powered warehouses will reduce their labor costs by 40%.

Last year, the company cleared over $700million in gross profit.

The robots use suction to delicately lift orders from the hive – DailyMail reported that a robotic arm and claw would damage inventory.

According to Grocery Dive, a majority of the robots’ parts are 3D printed.

Forward thinking has always been part of the Ocado brand.

The company released an app for the iPhone in 2009, just two years after the iPhone hit the market and at the onset of Apple’s iconic “There’s an App for that” campaign.

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While much attention is paid to robots nabbing jobs from human workers, but some argue automation is a positive for the economy in less visible ways.

Automation will reduce workers exposure to dangerous tasks and can drive down the cost of products for the consumer – it will also force us to reevaluate how much time a person should spend at work, and how much time pursuing other passions.

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