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Since 2000




Ocado — the product online supermarket, largest in Great Britain.

2019: The robot started the fire in a warehouse and caused damage in $137 million

At the beginning of July, 2019 the British online hypermarket Ocado disclosed damage which brought in February the fire started by the robot in a warehouse. The data published in the semi-annual report say that the robot caused to the company a loss in $137 million.

Effects of the fire were extremely destructive for Ocado. It is supposed that in general losses of the company for 2019 will reach nearly $175 million.

Ocado specializes in the goods delivery on the house. The company, as well as Amazon, has huge warehouses and invests heavily in automation to accelerate accomplishment of orders. However the logistics of the product delivery is extremely difficult as they are delivered in the huge range of forms and the sizes and the changing temperature requirements. Amazon which is the indisputable leader of online sales it was forced to reduce the operations on the product delivery because of shortcomings of technologies.

Losses from the fire in the warehouse Ocado made $137 million
Losses from the fire in the warehouse Ocado made $137 million

The fire in Ocado can be one more sign that the companies actively use new technologies for market expansion, estimating security insufficiently. Fault of the charger became an official cause of the fire, the company at shareholder meeting reported.

The pioneer of robotics and the CEO of Fetch Robotics Meloni Uayz (Melonee Wise) also drew the attention of the companies to the approaching security concerns at automation. Vayz sincerely hopes that in 2019 safety of robots will become the main priority of suppliers. Potential errors of one robotic company can discard all industry on many years ago. Vayz considers that Ocado should become an example and caution for all industry of robotics. Though technologies of automation provide the unknown speed and efficiency, they develop much quicker, than protocols of security are drafted.[1]

2017: Use of robots for acceleration of assembly of orders

In November, 2017 the Ocado company reached high extent of automation of work: on assembly of orders from 50 points where vegetables arrive, fruit, meat products and milk, at the retailer about five minutes leave that is 24 times faster, than before. Success secret — army from 1000 robots who collect products and bring them to the personnel which are responsible for packaging.

Ocado is convinced that the future of online trade in products — for robots as only with their help it is possible to organize operational and uninterrupted accomplishment of large orders. The company notes that without robots the staff of shop spends for assembly of the order from 50 names about two hours.

Robots in Ocado
Robots in Ocado

In 2016 Ocado opened the new center for accomplishment of online requests equipped with the latest technology in which the most labor-consuming part of process — assembly of orders is automated.

More than 50 thousand product names in which Ocado trades are placed in the rectangular sections standing ranks with baskets. Robots under control of special software move over these ranks with a speed of 4 meters per second. Stopping about the necessary sections, they take baskets with goods then bring them to the employees packing products in boxes.

The Ocado center is separated into three zones depending on temperature condition for products, and the robots created in partnership with Tharsus company help to collect orders in two of them. Only in a freezing zone assembly is still conducted manually as the current model of robots is not intended for negative temperatures. However, by the beginning of November, 2017 of Ocado and its orchestra seats work on the advanced version capable to maintain a frost.  

Also in Ocado think of automating delivery of orders. In particular, the company considers the possibility of use of unmanned vehicles and drones.[2]