Author Topic: Insane Robotic Warehouse Automation  (Read 3375 times)

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Offline EEVblog

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Insane Robotic Warehouse Automation
« on: November 18, 2019, 11:41:53 pm »
WOW!  :o

 

Offline Bud

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Re: Insane Robotic Warehouse Automation
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2019, 09:34:04 pm »
Looks 3D rendering to me  :-//
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: Insane Robotic Warehouse Automation
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2019, 09:44:10 pm »
Looks 3D rendering to me  :-//

Nope, it's real. I have parts from it in my Mailbag.
Turns out is burned down! Once of the robots caught on fire!  :-DD

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-hampshire-48094801
 

Online nali

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Re: Insane Robotic Warehouse Automation
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2019, 09:44:26 pm »
Well, it's been well & truly re-rendered now!



https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-49071456

Edit: Drat, beaten to it!
 

Offline Gyro

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Re: Insane Robotic Warehouse Automation
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2019, 10:42:19 pm »
Damn, the things that you assume the rest of the world knew all about. It was in the national news for days, on and off, here (it took a fair while to go out), Months, including the investigation.

It was something like a faulty charger setting fire to the plastic top of one of the robots, which then wondered off around the warehouse spreading the fire like a virus.  :palm:
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Offline Cerebus

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Re: Insane Robotic Warehouse Automation
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2019, 11:39:50 pm »
It was something like a faulty charger setting fire to the plastic top of one of the robots, which then wondered off around the warehouse spreading the fire like a virus.  :palm:

Am I the only one with a mental image of a vaguely anthropomorphic robot running around in a panic, hands in the air, with its head on fire setting fire to everything it passes? Sounds like something that would happen to Futurama's Bender.
Anybody got a syringe I can use to squeeze the magic smoke back into this?
 
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Offline I wanted a rude username

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Re: Insane Robotic Warehouse Automation
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2019, 12:14:07 am »
Looks 3D rendering to me  :-//

Modern video codecs perform weird optimisations to save bandwidth, such as arbitrary translation of regions of the frame, and these in particular make moving objects look fake. It's no longer enough to evaluate how the video "feels", because the codec is working against you. You need to look for details such as imperfections, reflections, etc.
 

Offline Gyro

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Re: Insane Robotic Warehouse Automation
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2019, 11:50:28 am »
Irrc, the senior fire officer described it as 'not a human friendly environment'!  :D
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Online PA0PBZ

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Re: Insane Robotic Warehouse Automation
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2019, 11:59:48 am »
"One of the pitfalls of a robot-only workplace: they can't smell the smoke when said workplace is on fire"

Well said!
Keyboard error: Press F1 to continue.
 

Online nali

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Re: Insane Robotic Warehouse Automation
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2019, 12:10:23 pm »
"One of the pitfalls of a robot-only workplace: they can't smell the smoke when said workplace is on fire"

Well said!

Heh... Humans are not a whole lot better!

Quote
The sprinkler system started operating 11 minutes later but was then turned off by Ocado engineers for five minutes which led to a "significant" growth in the fire.

Once staff realised the fire was not being extinguished they turned the sprinklers back on and finally dialled 999.
 

Offline Marco

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Re: Insane Robotic Warehouse Automation
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2019, 12:13:01 pm »
The only humans in the loop still found a way to be the weak link, impressive. Tried to save a penny in wasted stock, wasted 100 million warehouse and probably not much less due to loss of business.
 

Offline rstofer

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Re: Insane Robotic Warehouse Automation
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2019, 01:05:31 am »
Looks like s few hundred lines of FORTRAN ought to cover it.
 

Offline thm_w

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Re: Insane Robotic Warehouse Automation
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2019, 01:47:32 am »
Nope, it's real. I have parts from it in my Mailbag.
Turns out is burned down! Once of the robots caught on fire!  :-DD

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-hampshire-48094801

What the hell.. hindsight being 20/20 I'm thinking if they spent the extra 20c per bin on flame resistant plastic this wouldn't have happened. I don't see much flammable material other than that thing.
Any kind of fire suppressant system would not be that desirable as it could ruin all of the stock.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Insane Robotic Warehouse Automation
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2019, 09:31:50 am »
It was something like a faulty charger setting fire to the plastic top of one of the robots, which then wondered off around the warehouse spreading the fire like a virus.  :palm:

PLEASE tell me they have CCTV footage of that?
 
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Offline Cerebus

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Re: Insane Robotic Warehouse Automation
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2019, 12:23:06 pm »
What the hell.. hindsight being 20/20 I'm thinking if they spent the extra 20c per bin on flame resistant plastic this wouldn't have happened. I don't see much flammable material other than that thing.
Any kind of fire suppressant system would not be that desirable as it could ruin all of the stock.

I doubt that would have been sufficient. In fact I'd be very surprised if it wasn't already the case.

If you look at the contents of the average supermarket trolley it's chock-a-block with highly flammable materials (paper towels, cardboard, plastic film...) and backed up by stuff that burns really well once the former has acted as a fire starter (cooking oil, cornflakes, bread). Heck, if the Ocardo warehouse holds the same things as my local supermarket then there are cans of butane gas, boxes of matches and actual packets of fire-starters backed up by lots and lots of bottles of whiskey, gin, vodka... With those as a given it looks like an environment that's nigh impossible to properly fire-proof. All it's going to take is a spark in the wrong place, or a gob of sufficiently hot melted plastic hitting the wrong material (fire retardant plastic still gets hot, melts and even smoulders) and poof! up it all goes.

I think the only option is a VESDA (very early smoke detection) system that removes all power from the place (including remotely popping isolation relays on the robot batteries) backed up by a heavyweight fire suppression system that fires if the power cut off is ineffective. It might well ruin all the stock, but that's better than the stock, the whole system and the building going up in flames. Cleaning up has got to be better than rebuilding from scratch.

If they didn't already think of it, kitting out a few robots as localised fire fighters would be a good idea. Having them scoot to the location of any detected fire and start spraying fire suppression chemicals over a limited area would probably stop a fire spreading and limit the clean up to a comparatively small area.

And it would give the lady robots a source of jpegs to pin up on their scheduling tables - "Mr February, he may be small, but he packs a lot of watt-hours into his battery and has an impressive fire suppressant nozzle".

Edited to add:
Just reading the fire brigade (short) report. They did have VESDA, it failed to detect the fire - no information in the report as to why it failed. Fire was detected visual by a human 30 minutes after it had started.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2019, 01:17:07 pm by Cerebus »
Anybody got a syringe I can use to squeeze the magic smoke back into this?
 
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Offline Cerebus

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Re: Insane Robotic Warehouse Automation
« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2019, 12:25:08 pm »
It was something like a faulty charger setting fire to the plastic top of one of the robots, which then wondered off around the warehouse spreading the fire like a virus.  :palm:

PLEASE tell me they have CCTV footage of that?

Anybody got a syringe I can use to squeeze the magic smoke back into this?
 
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Offline Gyro

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Re: Insane Robotic Warehouse Automation
« Reply #16 on: November 21, 2019, 12:31:51 pm »
It was something like a faulty charger setting fire to the plastic top of one of the robots, which then wondered off around the warehouse spreading the fire like a virus.  :palm:

PLEASE tell me they have CCTV footage of that?

Apparently they do have CCTV footage but Ocado probably have no intention of ever releasing it.  Shame, it would have been something to behold, it would probably break some records on YouTube!

The closest we have is the Hampshire Fire and Rescue report summary, that makes reference to the video... http://democracy.hants.gov.uk/documents/s36357/Report.pdf

I did wonder how they tied down the cause among all that mess - it either had to be CCTV footage, or the poor robot's electronic screams echoing across the network!  :(
Chris

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Offline Cerebus

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Re: Insane Robotic Warehouse Automation
« Reply #17 on: November 21, 2019, 01:23:45 pm »
The closest we have is the Hampshire Fire and Rescue report summary, that makes reference to the video... http://democracy.hants.gov.uk/documents/s36357/Report.pdf

There's a second and later report here: http://democracy.hants.gov.uk/documents/s38626/Report.pdf
Anybody got a syringe I can use to squeeze the magic smoke back into this?
 

Offline Gyro

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Re: Insane Robotic Warehouse Automation
« Reply #18 on: November 21, 2019, 01:37:07 pm »
Yeah, that one seems to be just a lot of warm and fuzzy words about what we should all do to collaborate better in future.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2019, 01:40:01 pm by Gyro »
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Offline Cerebus

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Re: Insane Robotic Warehouse Automation
« Reply #19 on: November 21, 2019, 02:05:39 pm »
Yeah, that one seems to be just a lot of warm and fuzzy words about what we should all do to collaborate better in future.

Agreed. I found it (because it was promised in the earlier report you linked) and posted the link before I'd read it. The earlier report is more substantial and the latter adds nothing to it.
Anybody got a syringe I can use to squeeze the magic smoke back into this?
 

Offline DrTune

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Re: Insane Robotic Warehouse Automation
« Reply #20 on: November 21, 2019, 05:13:35 pm »
Pretty obvious what happened; a resistance fighter arrived from the future (naked, in a flash of blue lightning), and torched the place. Due to a subtle error in a Node.js parser, the warehouse robots were on course to achieve sentience in August 2020.
We'll thank them later.
 

Offline I wanted a rude username

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Re: Insane Robotic Warehouse Automation
« Reply #21 on: November 21, 2019, 08:55:57 pm »
a heavyweight fire suppression system that fires if the power cut off is ineffective. It might well ruin all the stock

They could have used a CO2 system (which wouldn't harm products), if they had designed for it and accepted that the "robot space" would be segregated from the "human space", with people only entering under certain specified situations and only after having received training. That would increase operational cost a bit, but obviously would have been cheaper in hindsight.
 
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Offline Cerebus

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Re: Insane Robotic Warehouse Automation
« Reply #22 on: November 21, 2019, 10:46:51 pm »
a heavyweight fire suppression system that fires if the power cut off is ineffective. It might well ruin all the stock

They could have used a CO2 system (which wouldn't harm products), if they had designed for it and accepted that the "robot space" would be segregated from the "human space", with people only entering under certain specified situations and only after having received training. That would increase operational cost a bit, but obviously would have been cheaper in hindsight.

It was a 500,000 m3 building. I suspect it'd need an active fire suppressant (one of the old nasty sort that nicks electrons and works at relatively low concentrations) rather than a blanketing system like CO2.  Those are even more inimical to life than a CO2 flood. CO2 has a density of ~2kg/m3 at 1 atm, the standard concentration of CO2 you need to acheive in a flood system is 34%, so 500,000 m3 * 0.34 *2 => 340,000 kg of CO2 required for this building. That's 340 tonnes of compressed (liquid) CO2 taking up around 300 m3 (a cube 6.7m on each side) plus the size of the pressure vessels around it. Obviously it would instead be hundreds and hundreds of individual cylinders, that was just an illustration of scale.  Basically, hugely impractical.

FM-200 works at 6.25% and is a 'clean' fire suppressant, and is people safe up to 9% concentration, and is chuffing expensive. You'd still need tonnes of the stuff.

So, on reflection I think safe, clean, sane fire suppressants are out and lots of water or aqueous fire fighting foam are in, and a huge mess is going to be made.
Anybody got a syringe I can use to squeeze the magic smoke back into this?
 
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Offline coppice

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Re: Insane Robotic Warehouse Automation
« Reply #23 on: November 21, 2019, 10:53:50 pm »
Why does anyone buy from Ocado? They seem to be the most expensive way to get your groceries.
 

Offline Domagoj T

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Re: Insane Robotic Warehouse Automation
« Reply #24 on: November 22, 2019, 10:27:58 pm »
While the tech seems impressive, I don't understand how the robot takes individual items out of the basket? At one point the robot can be seen taking up entire basket up into itself, so what happens next?
 


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