Ocado has integrated a wireless mobile network into its automated warehouses, enabling pick-and-pack robots to communicate more effectively.
The system allows a base station to co-ordinate 1,000 robots at a time, communicating 10 times per second, to ensure orders are processed as efficiently as possible.
The grocery etailer said it also would install the system, which was created in collaboration with technology supplier Cambridge Consultants and is deployed in the unlicensed 5GHz wi-fi band, in all automated warehouses it builds “in the foreseeable future”.
Ocado’s operations director Mark Richardson said: “This wireless development work is a crucial part of the advanced proprietary automation which will power our next-generation warehouses and those of our partners.”
The platform uses 4G technology, and is therefore not susceptible to wi-fi connection failures within the warehouses.
A statement from the etailer said the technology had scalable potential as it could “handle 20 times the number of movements” it currently manages for Ocado.
The system has been patented as part of the Ocado Smart Platform, allowing the grocer’s retail partners to use it in their warehouses.