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The IT Pro Podcast: Building the supermarket of the future

How robotics and AI help get your groceries to your door

The IT Pro Podcast - Building the supermarket of the future

Ocado’s colourful delivery vans are a common sight on the streets of Britain, but what’s slightly less well-known is that the company’s deliveries are powered by some of the most cutting-edge technology in the retail and logistics sector, including advanced AI, robotics, and data analytics.

Joining us for this week’s episode is James Donkin, CTO of Ocado Technology, to discuss how the company deploys microservices and cloud infrastructure to help its clients deliver faster and more accurate orders to their customers, as well as the impact that these technologies could have on the future of retail.

Highlights

“When we're looking at the technology stack and the tools we're using, we're trying to get a sweet spot where we don't want to be using the latest thing that's been released yesterday, but we don't want to be using technology that's too old. So there's a real art in judging when we should we migrate to new technology? How do we keep things as simple as possible? And how do we focus on automating jobs so our development and engineers can kind of get on with the actual problem, solving real problems rather than overly focusing on technology?”

“One of the biggest attractions to working at Ocado is the actual range of problems that you can work on. There's very few companies where you can go all the way from control systems, firmware, hardware development, right through to pure web development, mobile apps and consumer facing systems and everything in between. So actually, I think that's a massive strength, as are the really interesting people you'll find around the organisation.”

“On-grid robotic pick is another super exciting tech; seeing the arm next to the bots moving around in harmony, it really is the future of where we're heading towards; more and more products pickable through automation. Faster, more accurate orders, low price to consumers, more immediate.”

Read the full transcript here.

Footnotes

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