Happy holidays from Ocado Technology
2017 has been a great year for Ocado Technology and it’s been a real privilege for me to work with the best and brightest in technology. As the year draws to a close, I’d like to take an opportunity to quickly reflect on what the we have accomplished in the last 12 months.
But before we look back at this year, we’d like to wish everyone happy holidays and a great new year using the most appropriate way possible: robots, lots of tinsel, Christmas pudding and crackers!
We began 2017 with a video preview of our new CFC in Andover that was exclusively broadcast on the BBC News at Six. The Ocado Smart Platform robot hive has since been a source of great interest from the media, having been recently covered by Bloomberg, Forbes or Gizmodo UK.
We also unveiled the first prototype of the SoMa robotic hand which uses soft robotics to pick and pack grocery items without damaging them. The announcement captured the public’s attention, being covered by tens of publications while the two videos showing the hand in action were viewed by thousands of technology enthusiasts around the world. Staying on the topic of robotics, earlier this month we unveiled a revolutionary computer vision system that doesn’t require models of objects in order to pick them – an industry first!
Another important announcement was the partnership with Oxbotica and the GATEway Project to trial autonomous vehicles for grocery deliveries in London. During the live experiment, we invited a large pool of journalists to experience what these deliveries would look like in the future – and everyone was excited and impressed.
However, the most popular blog post of the year by far was my colleague Holly Godwin-Thompson’s article on how we route our vans using IoT sensor data, followed by our practical guide to deploying machine learning projects in production and the development of an open source Kubernetes add-on for OSP CFCs.
Ocado Technology was also invited to speak at multiple high-profile conferences, including Google Cloud Next and the AWS Summit. A few months ago, Ocado CTO Paul Clarke gave evidence in front of the House of Lords AI Committee and participated in a panel on AI organized by the Harvard Business Review. We also sponsored events such the Data Science London meetup, the GreatUniHack in Manchester, the ACCU 2017 conference in Bristol.
Finally, it was great to see the Technology division getting recognized for the great work we’ve been doing. Ocado Technology was nominated for and won several important awards this year, including the Ovum On the Radar 2017 award for Best Cloud Services; Best Diversity Employer at the Women in IT Excellence Awards 2017; Technology Hero of the Year at the 2017 V3 Technology Awards; the silver prize for Best Innovation in Technology at the European Contact Center and Customer Service Awards 2017; and runner up in the Information, Data & Connectivity category at The Engineer Collaborate 2 Innovate awards – to name only a few.
I can’t wait to see what 2018 brings!
Alex Voica, head of technology PR