Author Topic: Ocado Robot Wars  (Read 1188 times)

pigamus

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Ocado Robot Wars
« on: July 18, 2021, 12:06:38 PM »
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/ocado-fire-erith-robot-warehouse-b1885814.html

If your robots can bump into each other and burn the place to the ground, the technology doesn’t work, does it?


MojoJojo

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Re: Ocado Robot Wars
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2021, 01:08:55 PM »
Tom Scott did a video on that warehouse a week ago https://youtu.be/ssZ_8cqfBlE

It's pretty crazy stuff.

TrenterPercenter

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Re: Ocado Robot Wars
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2021, 04:50:18 PM »
AIBU

I really don't like Tom Scott.  There is something about him I just can't get on with.  This is all a complete failing on my behalf and not his.

Re: Ocado Robot Wars
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2021, 04:57:24 PM »
AIBU

I really don't like Tom Scott.  There is something about him I just can't get on with.  This is all a complete failing on my behalf and not his.

My brother says he’s like a Guardian (as in the paper) Alan Partridge and he’s absolutely right. He is Partridge esque.

Fambo Number Mive

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Re: Ocado Robot Wars
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2021, 05:04:48 PM »
I wonder how many people would lose their jobs if those robots were adopted more widely. I suppose they do create some jobs in terms of the building, maintenance and development of these robots but I can't believe its nearly as many as they replace.

If we had UBI these robots might be great if they didn't cause a warehouse fire, as it is I'm hoping this news might help product a lot of jobs.

Re: Ocado Robot Wars
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2021, 05:09:59 PM »

What if, instead of spending hundreds of millions on researching and developing this tech (though it is admittedly impressive), and posting losses upon losses, they employed people to do this?

PlanktonSideburns

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Re: Ocado Robot Wars
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2021, 05:17:17 PM »
I wonder how many people would lose their jobs if those robots were adopted more widely. I suppose they do create some jobs in terms of the building, maintenance and development of these robots but I can't believe its nearly as many as they replace.

If we had UBI these robots might be great if they didn't cause a warehouse fire, as it is I'm hoping this news might help product a lot of jobs.

Amazon has a robot floor basically the same as this in many of its warehouses, but the robots are big shelves for all the shite to go on. If I remember correctly, their pre robot facilities needed over 5 times of the amount of staff, and the size of the site its self was reduced by about 10 times after getting one of these robot floors. In amazon the job that they were automating was the job of 'picking' — the job of pushing a cart round picking up people's orders off massive racks of shelves. I've done it for the in both robot and non robot factories, the non robot version is a real workout, shoving things about all day, but the version of that job in a robot factory (robots can cart this shite about, but still can't find all the weirdly placed barcodes, or check for quality, or put things on shelves) is absolute hell: stood in one position, picking up and scanning things and putting them on robot shelves that come up to you and go away when their full. 11.5 hours of this makes a pestle and mortar of your spine, the lack of walking and stretching affords serious spinal injury, of which we are due an influx of down the line due to these plant's ubiquity in the UK. Just as well amazon brings so much money in in taxes to pump up the NHS lol

PlanktonSideburns

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Re: Ocado Robot Wars
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2021, 05:19:53 PM »
What if, instead of spending hundreds of millions on researching and developing this tech (though it is admittedly impressive), and posting losses upon losses, they employed people to do this?

They are saving a fortune with these systems, as all this shite can come in and out of a significantly smaller site with much less crew. The whole robot shelves coming towards a picker that used to wander around a town sized warehouse unsupervised saved thousands of pounds an hour at the expense of fewer jobs which are even more unhealthy and unpleasant

Re: Ocado Robot Wars
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2021, 05:33:19 PM »
They are saving a fortune with these systems, as all this shite can come in and out of a significantly smaller site with much less crew. The whole robot shelves coming towards a picker that used to wander around a town sized warehouse unsupervised saved thousands of pounds an hour at the expense of fewer jobs which are even more unhealthy and unpleasant

About 10 years ago I did some research for Ocado and learned that they plough all their profits and huge investor money into developing the tech, in the hope that the intellectual property would one day bring huge profit.  In those days it was still the human pickers and conveyor belts.  It looks like they are still pursuing that model.  It's just a race for the bottom to not have to employ people (and be subject to labour protection laws).

Re: Ocado Robot Wars
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2021, 05:45:39 PM »
I wonder how many people would lose their jobs if those robots were adopted more widely.

At the risk of sounding a bit Republican/Conservative most of the jobs the robots do appear to be the most shitty, menial and undesirable anyway....for now. Nobody really wants to work in an Ocado picking centre, it's a job you do when the dole say they're gonna cut you off if you don't do it. There was a frightening story a couple of years ago where an entire Japanese office of I think insurance people was laid off and replaced by a robot/computer. Office work isn't exactly menial so that's more worrying.

Captain Z

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Re: Ocado Robot Wars
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2021, 05:51:38 PM »
If adopting more of this technology across the UK would lead to a growing acceptance that money should go into UBI schemes then I'm all for it. Enormous if, of course.

Zetetic

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Re: Ocado Robot Wars
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2021, 05:53:00 PM »
There was a frightening story a couple of years ago where an entire Japanese office of I think insurance people was laid off and replaced by a robot/computer. Office work isn't exactly menial so that's more worrying.
Why not chat to a bot at the ONS about which occupations are at the highest risk of being automated?

Edit: It's not even a fucking chatbot, it's a hypertrophied hypertext interface.

TrenterPercenter

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Re: Ocado Robot Wars
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2021, 06:09:10 PM »
My brother says he’s like a Guardian (as in the paper) Alan Partridge and he’s absolutely right. He is Partridge esque.

Yes this is my feelings.  Partridge in the first thing that comes to mind.

PlanktonSideburns

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Re: Ocado Robot Wars
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2021, 09:41:38 PM »
If adopting more of this technology across the UK would lead to a growing acceptance that money should go into UBI schemes then I'm all for it. Enormous if, of course.

Would love to see what happens to ocado warehouse or amazon in a ubi world, the dwindling jobs that remain in these places, no one would ever want to do so them if they didn't have to. I love the idea of these companies thinking 'oh shit, we have to research how to make this work DESIRABLE'

PlanktonSideburns

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Re: Ocado Robot Wars
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2021, 09:43:30 PM »
Things like 24 hour McDonald's, same day delivery, all these things would have to go in a fully functioning UBI world, and thank fuck

Sebastian Cobb

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Re: Ocado Robot Wars
« Reply #15 on: July 18, 2021, 10:12:37 PM »
AIBU

I really don't like Tom Scott.  There is something about him I just can't get on with.  This is all a complete failing on my behalf and not his.

My brother says he’s like a Guardian (as in the paper) Alan Partridge and he’s absolutely right. He is Partridge esque.

Glad it's not just me. If you watch one of his vids then he'll be all over your recommendations as well, keeps returning, like recommendation glitter.

He ultimately seems an ok guy though.

Re: Ocado Robot Wars
« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2021, 11:06:44 PM »
I wonder how many people would lose their jobs if those robots were adopted more widely.

Retrain as firefighters

Dex Sawash

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Re: Ocado Robot Wars
« Reply #17 on: July 18, 2021, 11:19:10 PM »
Why not chat to a bot at the ONS about which occupations are at the highest risk of being automated?

Edit: It's not even a fucking chatbot, it's a hypertrophied hypertext interface.

Seems auto mechanic has a 54% probability of being automated/partially automated.
Maybe some day I can get out of the bit at the end where I write up a bunch of over-wrought justification for an exorbitant labor charge.

Re: Ocado Robot Wars
« Reply #18 on: July 18, 2021, 11:42:09 PM »
Would love to see what happens to ocado warehouse or amazon in a ubi world, the dwindling jobs that remain in these places, no one would ever want to do so them if they didn't have to. I love the idea of these companies thinking 'oh shit, we have to research how to make this work DESIRABLE'

The warehouses are nearly completely automated, Amazon etc are now making the middle management/supervisor level into an app that fires drivers. Some of the deliveries are already being done by drones. Are we 10 or 15 years away from Amazon having a couple of thousand people running a global operation?

I've been in a bank once in the last 5 years and even then there were 2 people and they were only there to show people how to use the 20 machines they had.

I'm 42 and if I live another 40 years I might be around to see Skynet. Sometimes I think the only unrealistic bit of the Terminator films is the time travel.

bgmnts

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Re: Ocado Robot Wars
« Reply #19 on: July 18, 2021, 11:43:56 PM »
We will invent time travel, cure cancer and reach the singularity before we adopt full UBI here.

MojoJojo

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Re: Ocado Robot Wars
« Reply #20 on: July 19, 2021, 12:32:32 AM »
There's an understandable bit of double think going on here. "Bloody Ocardo, getting rid of these hellish jobs no one should have to do"

It's a specific UK thing, where low skill industries have been deemphasized since thatcher. Amazon warehouse jobs wouldn't be so bad if people could work in a factory or mine instead.

PlanktonSideburns

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Re: Ocado Robot Wars
« Reply #21 on: July 19, 2021, 02:36:45 AM »


Don't know if the progress to full automation is a linear path, they've automated the really simple conveyor belt stuff, but the big thing that might take ages is the actual sorting of all the random shite that comes from all over the world : amazon's product is a total mix of random international garbage that is very difficult for a robot to process. Unless they heavily homogenised their products to be sorted by machines (this would involve actually caring about products, not just setting up some sort of gladiatorial capitalistic free for all in actual production industries) , there always going to need people to just to figure out what it is and do quality control. I've worked for offsite non amazon warehouses who's job it is to just manually sort and re-palletize things so that they can get through amazon's automated systems, as fourgein makers of stuff just roll their eyes at amazon's requests for things to be stacked very prrscicley at certain heights with scannable barcodes for each product visible from every angle of a pallet with a specific bar code system, and just send it randomly lobbed into a shipping container. It actually takes a surrounding network of human warehouses (usually pedalling junk for their main rival, Ebay) to maintain the illusion of automation.

Not convinced by all this drone stuff either. Lots of money has been donated to amazon by bsa and ratheon and the like to whitewash their flying death machines by pretending they can be mailmen and factory workers. That's never going to work outside of a factory, unless they put gun turrets on it, and in the warehouses it would always take less energy to put the things on wheels/rails

Are we 10 or 15 years away from Amazon having a couple of thousand people running a global operation?

All they've really done is streamline a tiny visible part of this massive international supply chain of shite coming into the west from aisa and India

PlanktonSideburns

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Re: Ocado Robot Wars
« Reply #22 on: July 19, 2021, 09:33:50 AM »
Oh fuck they're going to put gun turrets on them aren't they? Children holding gun shaped sandwiches mowed down to protect the honor of a female to female usb adapter

Re: Ocado Robot Wars
« Reply #23 on: July 19, 2021, 10:26:44 AM »
My weekly shop was cancelled due to this and I had to go to Sainsbury’s- please allow me some privacy during this difficult time, no press interviews.

pigamus

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Re: Ocado Robot Wars
« Reply #24 on: July 19, 2021, 10:38:59 AM »
It was the heat, was it, presumably ? Had they not factored in air conditioning when they built the place?

gib

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Re: Ocado Robot Wars
« Reply #25 on: July 19, 2021, 11:01:36 AM »
It was the heat, was it, presumably ? Had they not factored in air conditioning when they built the place?

I dunno, in the Tom Scott* video i think i saw bottles of milk which would have to be kept cold. Yet judging by the way the people were dressed it wasn't a chiller room, so i'm not sure.

*agree with people's comments, something too smug about the cunt although he does cover some interesting topics

MojoJojo

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Re: Ocado Robot Wars
« Reply #26 on: July 19, 2021, 11:56:12 AM »
I dunno, in the Tom Scott* video i think i saw bottles of milk which would have to be kept cold. Yet judging by the way the people were dressed it wasn't a chiller room, so i'm not sure.

*agree with people's comments, something too smug about the cunt although he does cover some interesting topics

There's some talk about how stuff stays refrigerated the whole time - i guess the bins are chilled, but the whole room isn't beyond normal aircon.

PlanktonSideburns

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Re: Ocado Robot Wars
« Reply #27 on: July 19, 2021, 11:57:24 AM »
If the flying bins are fridges, would the heat exchange be liable to heating up?

seepage

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Re: Ocado Robot Wars
« Reply #28 on: July 19, 2021, 04:10:21 PM »
It's down to M&S getting involved, the robots were quite happy before that. Probably self-destructed rather than sit through any more change control meetings.

Re: Ocado Robot Wars
« Reply #29 on: July 19, 2021, 08:58:46 PM »
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/ocado-fire-erith-robot-warehouse-b1885814.html

If your robots can bump into each other and burn the place to the ground, the technology doesn’t work, does it?
Indeed. My favourite comment under the Youtube video:

"Sounds like the kind of thing that could go wrong and cause a fire".

Collision avoidance is going to be challenging, as is the propensity for these bots to catch fire. One thought that strikes me is- that's a lot of lithium batteries. I wonder if fire extinguisher technology has kept up? Apparently not.

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