Presentation: Logistics as a Service: Building the Ocado Smart Platform

Track: Architectures You've Always Wondered About

Location: Fleming, 3rd flr.

Duration: 11:50am - 12:40pm

Day of week: Tuesday

Level: Intermediate

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Abstract

Selling groceries online at a profit is considered by many to be the Holy Grail of retail. The Ocado Smart Platform is the result of 15 years of learning through the application of technology to this domain, from control protocols for an army of 1000 warehouse robots, through optimising delivery routes as customers shop and using machine learning to predict what products customers might want. In this presentation, we will show how the architecture of this cloud-native platform has allowed Ocado to fulfill an order of 50 grocery items in less than five minutes. We will also present how Ocado Technology has built a scalable, AWS-based microservices architecture and Google Cloud-powered data analytics combined with a swarm robotics grid controlled by an intelligent air traffic system running on private cloud that is unlike anything currently available on the market. 

Speaker: Paul Sweetman

Head of Software Architecture @Ocado

Paul has spent his career leading development teams for some of the UK’s leading online brands.  Since working at Ocado, he has provided technical stewardship for Ocado’s real-time automated warehouse control systems, their award winning website and mobile apps, and more recently the Ocado Smart Platform - a cloud-native SaaS service that provides everything needed to run a successful and profitable grocery business. Paul holds a first class degree in Computer Science from the University of Cambridge.

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Speaker: Alex Harvey

Head of Robotics and Autonomous Systems @Ocado

After studying Mechanical Engineering followed by Computer Science at university in Edinburgh, Alex started his career as a software engineer and vibration analyst in the aerospace industry. He worked for HGL Dynamics and was subcontracted into Rolls Royce as a vibration expert. Alex led the redevelopment of the entire HGL analysis suite of applications as well as negotiating, specifying and managing the delivery of a condition monitoring and proactive maintenance system that operates on all turbine-powered Royal Navy surface ships. After joining Ocado in 2010, Alex worked as project manager delivering a second generation, highly efficient goods-to-person picking system that has been deployed in the company's Hatfield and Dordon fulfilment centres. Alex is now head of robotics and autonomous systems department, where his wide-ranging responsibilities include the technology development of Ocado’s proprietary warehousing automation and overseeing teams of researchers in robotics, 3D vision, simulation and 3D visualisation. In his spare time he likes to hike up Munroe’s in Scotland and spend as much time outdoors with his family.

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