Inside an Enormous Warehouse Where Thousands of Robots Select Items to Fulfill Grocery Orders

The ever-curious Tom Scott (previously) visited an absolutely enormous Ocado Group warehouse in the southeast of London, known as “The Hive”, that houses robots that select items to fulfill grocery orders for customers. Here, the robots roll along an X-Y or Z axis in order to select and pack groceries in an efficient manner and get them on delivery vans in a remarkably short amount of time.

We have around 2,300 bots and they move the stock around the warehouse, so that we can pair it up with customer orders to be delivered…. We have around 58,000 different types of individual products within the grid. We’ll use the huge amounts of data that we gather to understand what customers are most likely to order and place them in the easiest to reach locations for bots. All of that combined means that we can have stock into the warehouse and out again from our suppliers, into a delivery van, in just five hours.

Here’s a video by Ocado Technologies that shows how “The Hive” works in further detail.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.