Ocado robots collide, warehouse evacuated

July 2021
Updated: November 2021

Three robots have collided at an Ocado warehouse in Erith, south-east London, leading to a fire, the facility's evacuation and the cancellation of thousands of customer orders. The warehouse is serviced by around 3,500 delivery-packing robots.

According to the London Fire Brigade, fifteen fire engines and around 100 firefighters were called to extinguish the fire. Ocado put the cost of the fire at GBP 35 million.

The collision is not the first incident involving robots at an Ocado facility. In July 2019, an Ocado robot malfunctioned in its Andover warehouse that resulted in a major fire. The warehouse had to re-built at an estimated cost of GBP 110 million.

Operator: Ocado
Developer:
Ocado
Country:
UK
Sector:
Transport/logistics
Purpose: Pick groceries
Technology: Robotics
Issue: Safety