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World first in radio design


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transforming the warehouse automation solution used by the online grocery retailer. The technology enables Ocado to control and co-


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01 Ocado conveyor belt 01


ordinate the movements of hundreds of thousands of crates containing millions of grocery items in real time and in parallel. It means that Ocado’s innovative next- generation warehouse is home to the most densely packed mobile network in the world. Ocado ships more than two million items every


day to customers around the UK. The technology breakthrough is enabling Ocado to control 1,000 machines, communicating with them 10 times a second, all within an area the size of an Olympic swimming pool. The innovative wireless solution is also scalable so could potentially handle 20 times the number of movements. Cambridge Consultants says it is a challenge on the


scale of attempting to control the movements of all the aircraft that fly in and out of London’s Heathrow Airport in a day – but all at the same time and while they are circling around within a few kilometres of each other. “It was clear early on that no technology existed which


would do what Ocado needed,” said Tim Ensor, head of connected devices at Cambridge Consultants. He added: “That meant they needed to create a completely custom solution to achieve the required performance – but do so in a way that had a manageable risk profile and in the minimum amount of time. They engaged us to help them achieve this.” Existing mobile communications technologies did


not offer the real-time control or scalability that Ocado needed. The Cambridge Consultants team identified that a system based on 4G telecoms technology deployed in the unlicensed 5GHz Wi-Fi band gave the best chance of achieving Ocado’s goal of co-ordinating thousands of


world first in radio design has been created by product design and development firm Cambridge Consultants in conjunction with Ocado. The new wireless control system is


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