Ocado Technology, a division of Ocado — the world's largest
online-only supermarket — has a
new robotic system capable of
picking a wide range of grocery
products from the 50,000 different
items available on
The new system uses a
proprietary computer vision system
designed by the Ocado Technology
robotics research team to calculate
grasping points for a given item
without requiring a 3D model of the object to be picked.
The robotic system uses a vacuum cup as the gripping
device attached to the end of an articulated arm. The arm is
equipped with a pipe running to an air compressor which is
capable of lifting items regardless of their deformability and
shape, as long as they are within the weight restriction and
the suction cup can create an airtight seal with the item’s
The system is designed to be easily integrated with the
pick stations present in Ocado's highly automated Customer
Fulfillment Centres. These pick stations use an assembly line
system where crates of products are delivered to a picking
point. Once the storage crates arrive at the pick station, the
job of the robot system is to transfer however many items
are needed from the storage crates into the delivery crates
destined for the customer.
https://ocadotechnology.com/blog/experimenting-with-robots-for-grocery-picking-and-packing for more
details. There’s a video at
that shows a concept design of a robot-based pick station.
ATLAS HAS FLIPPED Atlas — the hulking humanoid robot from Boston Dynamics — now does backflips. And that's after it leaps
from platform to platform, as if such
behavior were becoming of a bipedal robot.
To be clear: Humanoids aren't supposed to
be able to do this.
It's extremely difficult to make a
bipedal robot that can move effectively,
much less kick off a tumbling routine. The
beauty of four-legged robots is that they
balance easily — both at rest and as they're
moving — but bipeds like Atlas have to
balance a bulky upper body on just two
Over the years, Atlas has grown not
only more back-flippy, but lighter and more
dexterous and less prone to fall on its face.
Even if it does tumble, it can now get back
up on its own. So, it’s not hard to see a
future where Atlas can tread where fleshy
humans dare not.
bots IN BRIEF
16 SERVO 01.2018