Ocado has developed a robot prototype which will learn from the behaviour of its warehouse technicians and act as ‘a second pair of hands’.

The grocery pureplay’s technology division has developed the collaborative robot, which will be used to maintain and repair automation equipment in Ocado’s automated warehouses.

The etailer’s technology arm has partnered with academic institutions including University College London (UCL) and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) to develop the machine, which will assist human technicians.

A statement from Ocado said: “The robot uses advanced AI techniques and machine vision to learn through observation and will augment the human engineers’ capabilities by completing tasks that require a level of precision or physical strength that are not available to human workers.”

It has been developed as part of the ongoing EU-funded research and innovation programme Horizon 2020.

Ocado has created the learning robot prototype alongside its academic partners as part of the SecondHands project, which aims to develop a robotic assistant with the ability to proactively help humans to complete complex industrial tasks.

The machine was unveiled shortly after research from the International Federation of Robotics which forecast that industrial robot installations will grow 15% in 2018.

ARMAR-6 is the latest in a slew of innovations from the online grocer.

The etailer launched an Amazon Alexa ordering app in August and trialled driverless grocery deliveries in June.