As the world’s largest online only supermarket, our systems handle millions of events every minute as our customers navigate our website and apps, add items to their trolleys, choose delivery slots, and check out their orders.
These interactions result in petabytes of data collecting in our data lake stored in Google Cloud. One challenge facing any retailer operating online is isolating and recognizing the rare incidents classified as fraud in a smart and efficient way.
For those unfamiliar with online fraud, it typically covers any instance where an order is delivered but not paid for. Fraud can happen as a…
Almost every industry nowadays claims to be using the power of artificial intelligence (AI), or more specifically, machine learning (ML) to solve a range of complex real-world challenges. Many businesses have found that, when compared to traditional approaches, machine learning provides better ways to predict real-world outcomes and analyze large data sets with incredible accuracy and speed, uncovering insights that would otherwise remain hidden
In addition, machine learning has the ability to capture the desired behaviour of experts (humans or other machines) and replay the learned behavior through the software at much larger scale, usually to provide support for non-experts.
The team made breakthroughs in AI, Learning, Natural Language Processing and Robotic Manipulation to achieve collaborative robotic capabilities which exceed the state-of-the-art.
Robotics for real world challenges
The SecondHands project was born in 2015 to develop a robot that could proactively assist technicians with industrial automation maintenance tasks. This robot — named ARMAR-6 — would effectively provide a ‘second pair of hands’ — the inspiration for the project name.
The goals were for the cobot to proactively assist with physical and unskilled practical tasks such as holding or lifting heavy machinery, guard insertion or removal, reaching for and passing objects…
How Java Helps Deliver Groceries
To deliver online grocery scalably, sustainably and profitably, there’s intelligent forecasting, complex simulations, and huge amounts of automation involved. It’s the most difficult retail segment to deliver profitably because of the low margins and sheer complexity involved. Average orders currently contain over 70 items from three different temperature zones, lots of fresh, delicate, low-profit products like eggs, bread, and frozen peas. Layer this with discerning customers who expect accurate and on-time deliveries and you start to appreciate the size of the task. …
We know that applying for a new job can be daunting. Whether this application marks the first step in your career, or just the latest in a long line of roles, you’re likely to have your misgivings. Nerves are normal and the best thing you can do is be prepared, which is why we have created this guide to walk you through our hiring process: what you can expect, the various stages of our recruitment process, our top tips to combatting your interview jitters, and wand so on. …
I’m a runner and I regularly train for half marathons.
I am also a Product Manager working on the automation within our Ocado Smart Platform warehouses around the world.
But what do running and Product Management have in common? Turns out, it’s quite a lot! Here are 5 ways in which my hobby as a runner helps me be a better Product Manager, and vice versa.
#1 Set Smart Goals
Depending on the distance you train for, training plans can range anywhere from 8–18 weeks. Before I commit myself to many months of effort and focus, I have to start…
For 20 years, Ocado.com has been at the front line of online grocery shopping. In recent years, Ocado started to look outside of the country to become the technology provider of choice for leading grocery retailers throughout the world.
This created a new challenge for the ecommerce UX (user experience) team: how do we transition from local to international? How do we keep our solutions accessible for millions of users?
So how does the world shop?
For retailers, offering customers a wide range of product promotions is key to balancing stock and offering value. Online, a large volume of promotions can mean consumers struggle to spot the offers most relevant to their preferences. So how can we improve this and serve individual consumers with highly personalised promotions?
Traditional machine learning models can make generalisations and offer broad recommendations. Reinforcement learning gives retailers an opportunity to be even more attuned and responsive to dynamically changing customer preferences.
How we developed our hyper-personal machine learning model
We created a machine learning model that uses customer shopping data as…
At the heart of Ocado’s automated warehouses lies ‘The Hive’ — a grid storage system home to thousands of mobile robots known as ‘bots’ which collaborate to pick grocery orders.
Such is the complexity of automating grocery fulfilment that these bots need to operate at peak performance, with downtime virtually eliminated. They operate in swarms of thousands, whizzing within 5mm of each other, and at speeds of up to 4m/s.
Each bot covers 60 km per day and can travel the distance from London to New York before having to be taken off the grid for preventative maintenance.
This is a story about ingenuity, and how a culture of innovation allowed us to bring the vast Ocado Smart Platform to life starting with a chocolate bar.
The Product Challenge
Ocado’s technology has enabled Ocado to run an online supermarket profitably, scalably and sustainably for many years.
Yet, when we decided to answer international demand, by licencing our grocery technology to retailers around the world, we were faced with some significant challenges we hadn’t met before: