A robot that can help you in the warehouse

Jan 11, 2018 | 2007 Views

There is a new warehouse helper in town. Ocado is testing a human maintenance in its warehouse, in a latest move to reduce reliance on human workers.  This SecondHands robot prototype resembles a cousin of Star Wars' C3P0 with a wheeled platform instead of legs and is designed to assist the engineers looking after the company's handling systems. The goal here is to use artificial intelligence in order to predict the need of the technicians & hand them tools or move ladders or bolts. 
This robot & its operations software along with the speech recognition were developed at the Institute for Anthropomatics and Robotics at the Karlsruhe Institute Of Technology in Germany. Ocado is also working with researchers at University College London, the Ecole Polytechnique de Lausanne and Sapienza University in Rome on systems that can recognise and interpret human actions and decide how to help.

Graham Deacon, robotics research team leader at Ocado, said the aim was to develop a robot that could help without prompting in "a fluid and natural interaction between robot and technician".

Ocado, which delivers groceries for Waitrose and Morrisons, has invested millions of pounds in developing technology to manage home deliveries for global grocery retailers. In November, it signed its first big international contract to develop a robotic warehouse for the French supermarket Groupe Casino.

Its newest warehouse in Andover, Hampshire, uses hundreds of battery-powered robots to shift boxes of groceries stored in a giant grid.

This group is also in the process of developing packing robots that are capable of grasping many kinds of products, like potentially dangerous bottles of bleach or fragile avocados & eggs.

Retailers have been using automated warehouse systems for years now but this now the involvement of robots will rise dramatically given the rise in labor costs and improvements in technology.

According to a report by PwC last year, more than 10 million workers in the UK were at risk of losing their jobs due to rise in automation in the next 15 years. About 2.5 million of these work in distribution and retail

Source: HOB