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Frequently Asked Questions

Ocado Intelligent Automation

General FAQs

Answers to commonly asked questions about Ocado Intelligent Automation (OIA), the Ocado Storage & Retrieval System (OSRS), and Chuck AMR products. 
What is Ocado Intelligent Automation (OIA)? Ocado Intelligent Automation (OIA) is part of Ocado Group, leveraging 20 years of experience developing and operating the Ocado Smart Platform (OSP)—the world's leading ecommerce, fulfilment and logistics solution for online grocery retail. OIA brings Ocado’s industry-leading automation solutions to applications beyond online grocery.
What is the Ocado Storage and Retrieval System (OSRS)? The Ocado Storage and Retrieval System (OSRS) is our version of an Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS). It features a storage grid that can hold up to 21 bins in height, along with robots designed to lift and move bins full of products. Stock is inducted into the grid via dedicated induct workstations, while bins are delivered to our picking workstations for onward processing. Our Warehouse Execution System (WES) software coordinates thousands of these robots to efficiently pick customer orders at high speed.
What is Chuck AMR? Chuck is our Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR) product, which joined the OIA product lineup through our acquisition of 6 River Systems in 2023. AMRs are designed to integrate into a warehouse and work alongside human pickers. OIA’s Chuck AMR solution is designed for rapid deployment into existing infrastructure, boosting productivity by assisting workers in picking items. It offers industry-leading route optimization, enabled by state of the art software.
What are the key differences between your Chuck AMR and OSRS solutions? The Ocado Storage and Retrieval System (OSRS) is an ultra-high-density storage system offering world-proven automation and business intelligence while minimizing human involvement. It's designed for high throughput environments, with inventory inducted into bins densely stacked inside a cubic grid. Over 20,000 daily unit picks are capable using a standard grid. In contrast, Chuck, our autonomous mobile robot solution, can be rapidly deployed within your existing infrastructure, performing putaway, picking, sorting and returning tasks. Chuck generally achieves ROI in under 18 months and can handle anywhere between 5,000 and 75,000 unit picks daily.
Can Chuck AMR and OSRS be used together?

Yes, and we provide three approaches to this:

Chuck Picking Alongside OSRS: Deployed permanently for awkward inventory that fits best on (or is optimally picked from) traditional racking; for C-mover items; or temporarily, to cover bursts of activity during demand peaks.

Chuck Before OSRS: Launch Chuck in a matter of weeks, while building OSRS alongside/nearby

Chuck Movements Supporting OSRS: For E-Commerce, Chuck can carry materials, such as picked orders or erected boxes, to pack stations.

How many active installations do you have today? Ocado automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRS) are operational in 24 customer fulfillment centers (CFCs) worldwide, while Chuck AMR is currently in service in over 100 warehouses worldwide with more than 70 customers.
What industries are your products suitable for?

OIA serves diverse industries beyond grocery, including (but not limited to) Healthcare & Pharma, Fashion & Apparel, 3PL, Industrial, and OEM parts, as well as consumer packaged goods (CPG). We continually explore new industries to enhance efficiencies. Our systems are highly customizable and will enhance operational efficiency in a wide range of potential scenarios - please contact us if you would like to learn more about which system could be the right fit for you.

What size operation are OIA products suitable for? OIA offers solutions to suit all sizes of operations. OSRS is designed for high throughput companies with large, fast-moving inventories. For lower throughput, Chuck AMR offers rapid deployment to live sites, enhancing picking rates and providing seasonal flexibility.
Where are your solutions currently deployed? We have active installations in North America, Europe and the Middle East (EMEA), and Asia-Pacific (APAC).
What are the benefits of automation?

OSRS and Chuck AMR boost productivity, enhance picker experience, improve accuracy, and minimize risk.

OSRS provides seamless scalability, high storage density, ambient and cold storage, and high availability.

Chuck AMR quickly integrates into existing warehouses, surpassing manual SLA and accuracy goals, expediting tasks and training, reducing picker fatigue, and delivering real-time data insights.

Both offerings enable high throughput while significantly reducing fixed asset, conveyor, and labor costs.

How do you identify the right solution for me? Several factors influence the recommended solution type, including building height, available footprint, territory restrictions, pick time, post-pick processes, delivery asset size and type, peripheral quantity, labor, and existing infrastructure. In our initial conversations, we'll discuss all of these factors to identify the best solution for your application.

We use computer simulation models to ascertain and verify the optimal configuration for your application.
How quickly can you deploy your systems?

Chuck AMR can be deployed within hours.

OSRS installations vary widely in size, component count, and building requirements. Each instance of OSRS is uniquely tailored to meet the specific needs of our customers' current and future operations. Typically, we complete a standard project from contract to handover in 9-18 months. For urgent automation needs, Chuck AMR can be deployed as a stop-gap if required.

Do you supply everything I need to start processing orders? Both OSRS and Chuck AMR systems require a conveyor infrastructure to integrate material handling equipment (MHE) processes, as well as to transport delivery assets. While we do not provide conveyor systems, we work with a number of third-party suppliers to implement best-in-class solutions.
How are OIA products sold?

OSRS and Chuck are sold directly to customers and then installed and managed by dedicated Ocado Technology teams. We plan to work with integrators starting in 2025 and welcome inquiries from interested parties.

Can I rent OIA products?

Chuck AMR can be rented and many of our customers have multi-year rental agreements. Existing customers can rent additional Chucks during peak periods or use our Flex-Chuck program for a portion of your fleet, enabling you to pay for extra capacity only when needed.

How are your solutions managed and maintained?

OSRS is currently a managed system—our engineering teams remain on site whenever it is operational.

Chuck AMR is designed to work alongside your workforce—associates can be trained on Chuck in a matter of minutes. Performance is monitored remotely and does not require OIA engineers to be present. Maintenance is performed and units replaced whenever required. 

How scalable are your products?

The Ocado Storage and Retrieval System (OSRS) offers extensive scalability in capacity and throughput, meeting evolving business needs. Its modular design enables robots and workstations to be added with zero downtime and grids to be expanded as your business grows.

Chuck AMR can similarly be scaled, simply by adding or removing robots. This enables you to efficiently meet changing throughput requirements and seasonal peaks.

When combined, the two solutions provide highly scalable warehouse automation.

Do you offer a sortation solution? Yes, Robotic Sort is our AI-Powered Sortation Robot designed for Parcel, Post, and E-Commerce Fulfillment. It securely handles various merchandise, including polybagged items. Collaborating with humans, it enhances productivity and engagement by visually identifying items, locating barcodes, and stowing them in the correct put-wall bin for human operators. Efficiency improves as robots learn from handled items, with automatic learning sharing among robots.
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