Spotlight On Retail: Robots Give Ocado A Helping Hand

Innovative online grocer, Ocado, is currently testing both a ‘robot hand’ and a humaoid robot that could see it picking and packing products in its warehouses.

According to a source from the company’s technology arm, the aim is to create ‘’one…or a small number of hands’’ that could handle delicate or breakable items like fruit, glass or eggs – possibly even identifying whether certain foods are ripe or mouldy. Additionally, a second robot will carry out a maintenance role in the company’s various warehouses.

The move comes at a time when Ocado says the business is ‘’limited by the capability of the warehouse and by the productivity of humans’’. While critics are quick to point out the number of human jobs at stake with a robot workforce in place, it’s worth pointing out that Ocado’s heavy investment in technology and warehouse systems has created a huge demand for tech specialists – ones who have developed the robots, and ones who will continue to monitor and adapt future versions of them.

IMAGE CREDIT: Peyri Herrera on Flickr

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