“We are on a mission to transform the future of online grocery retail through sustained technology innovation.”

Ocado Technology is putting the world’s retailers online using advanced artificial intelligence, robotics, big data, the cloud and IoT. We develop the innovative software and hardware systems that power Ocado.com, as well as the unique ‘Ocado Smart Platform’ which is being implemented by ambitious retailers across the world from Europe to America, Asia and beyond. With everything from websites to highly automated warehouses that we design in-house, our employees are skilled specialists with expertise across a wide range of technologies, working on cutting-edge innovations that are shaping the future of our society.

 

What does the Robotics Research Team do?

The robotics research team is working on sensor-guided robotic systems to further improve the efficiency of our operation. Our primary goal is to find the best way to deploy robots in the production of grocery orders. In order to do this, we pursue cutting-edge research into state of the art algorithms, sensing technologies, and manipulation techniques.

The robotics research team is currently undergoing an expansion and we are looking to hire an electronics/mechatronics expert to support and enhance the team's capabilities.

We champion a value-led culture to get our teams working at their very best and to help create a collaborative working environment that our people love. Core values of Trust, Autonomy, Craftsmanship, Collaboration and Learn Fast help drive our innovative culture.  But don’t just take our word for it, have a look at what our people are saying about us on Glassdoor.  

As part of our effort to be in the vanguard of robotics research, the team has been involved in two European Union funded Horizon 2020 research projects with a number of leading European Universities:-

  • The SoMa project was concerned with using inherently compliant robotic mechanisms in order to exploit environmental constraints to manipulate objects with a wide variety of properties in highly variable environments. More details of the project and the list of other participants can be found at the project's website: http://soma-project.eu.
  • Ocado coordinated the project SecondHands: the aim of the project is to develop a robot that will act as an assistant to Ocado maintenance technicians that is able to understand a technician's activity and proactively offer assistance in a timely manner, i.e. it will behave as a second pair of hands for the technician. More details of the project and the list of other participants can be found at the project's website: https://secondhands.eu.

In addition to these projects, the team liaises with a number of leading universities performing robotics and related autonomous systems research. 

What will you do?

  • Participate effectively in investigating and implementing sensor-guided robotics solutions to a wide variety of automation problems.
  • Take an active role in the choice of technologies and techniques used in the delivery of robotics application demonstrators.
  • Take ownership of the design and fabrication of electro-mechanical peripherals to support the development of fully operational workcells.
  • Write embedded and/or device-specific low-level software for communications and control.
  • Demonstrate working systems and thoroughly test them to establish their operational limits.
  • Attend regular meetings to report on progress and share ideas.
  • Work closely with other team members on issues relating to design and requirements.

We'd like to hear from you if you have...

The successful candidate will be fully acquainted with  electro-mechanical technologies and techniques ideally including:-

  • Electronics circuit design, breadboarding and testing
    • Real-time and/or embedded programming (C/C++, Arduino, python)
    • Feedback control
    • Signal processing and conditioning, including digital signal processing
    • Sensors, instrumentation and transduction principles, including electronics for sensor interfacing.
  • Mechanism design
    • A good understanding of material properties (metals, polymers, composites) and fabrication techniques, including additive manufacturing (e.g. 3D printing)
    • Computer aided design and manufacture (CAD/CAM)
    • Pneumatic devices and components
    • Hydraulic devices and components
    • Electric motors (ac, dc, stepper)
  • An understanding of the following communications technologies and when they would be used:-
    • The OSI model of communications
    • Serial comms (RS 232, RS 422, RS 485)
    • USB
    • Ethernet
    • Fieldbus (Profibus, EtherCAT)
    • WiFi
    • I2C
    • SPI
    • Communications protocols (e.g. TCP/IP, UDP)
  • Applications from candidates with systems integration experience would be of particular interest.

Bonus points if you have...

  • Cameras and basic image processing/computer vision 
  • Programmable logic controllers (PLCs),
  • Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems, 
  • Finite element analysis

What we can offer you 

Our employee benefits are designed for you, we care about people and we’ve ensured we have a wealth of benefits that focus on your well-being. Within our flexible environment we can offer technically stretching work, a competitive salary and share schemes. Benefits include pension scheme, train season ticket loan (interest-free), free shuttle bus from Hatfield train station and of course, healthy Ocado retail staff discounts. 

We also have regular divisional socials, sports clubs not to mention the Ocado Technology Academy for a packed schedule of courses, conferences and events such as discussion sessions, conference briefs and external guest speakers. If you think you have what it takes to make a difference, please submit your application below.

Due to the energising nature of Ocado's business, vacancy close dates, when stated, are indicative and may be subject to change so please apply as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. 

Please note: If you have applied and been rejected for this role in the last 6 months, or applied and been rejected for a role with a similar skill set, we will not re-evaluate you for this position. After 6 months, we will treat your application as a new one. 

Be bold, be unique, be brilliant, be you. We are looking for individuality and we value diversity above gender, sexual orientation, race, nationality, ethnicity, religion, age, disability or union participation. We are an equal opportunities employer and we are committed to treating all applicants and employees fairly and equally.

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At Ocado, we are committed to delivering our company aims linked to Inclusion, Equality and Diversity. This includes not discriminating under the Equality Act 2010 and building an accurate picture of the make-up of our workforce encouraging a culture of equality and diversity. This form is intended to help us maintain equal opportunities best practice and identify barriers to workforce equality and diversity. We kindly ask for your cooperation in completing this form.

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