Ocado has developed a robotic arm capable of picking up and transporting a variety of products, which will be trialled in its automated warehouses.

The grocery etailer’s technology division collaborated with the Technical University of Berlin to develop the robotic arm, which can pick and pack delicate fresh food items such as fruit and vegetables, without damaging them.

The newly converted store features a specialist tool shop with brands including Ryobi and DeWalt

The product was developed as part of the SoMa Project – a five-year, EU-funded initiative researching and developing the field of humanoid robotics.

Ocado Technology is working alongside organisations including Disney Research Zurich, the Italian Institute of Technology and the German Aerospace Centre on the initiative.

Ocado Technology’s robotics research team leader Dr Graham Deacon said: “Ocado and its academic partners are developing some of the most innovative technologies in the field of robotics.

“The RBO Hand 2 designed by the Technische Universität Berlin offers a versatile, cost-effective and safe solution for robotic grasping and manipulation that integrates very well with Ocado’s highly-automated warehouse retail solutions.”

This is the latest in a string of innovations across the etailer’s state of the art automated warehouses, including an extension of the communication technology in its warehouses in November.