Ocado Careers – Robotics Research Engineer

Website Ocado

“We are on a mission: to transform the future of online grocery through cutting-edge technology innovation.”

What does the team do?

As part of our Advanced Technology division, our talented robotic engineering teams are working to automate physical processes that require sensing and judgement through the use of robotics and machine vision.

Currently, our focus is on picking and packing groceries using robotic arms.

The Adaptive Robotic Manipulation (ARM) team, within Advanced Technology, develops advanced grocery picking capabilities for our robotic pick solutions.

The ARM team is an application-oriented research team which develops and implements intelligent strategies to achieve robust and reliable sensor-driven grocery picking behaviours and validates them in a laboratory environment prior to adoption in production. This is a very challenging endeavour due to the vast range of different objects that need to be picked, the many different configurations of those objects and the variability in the way that the robot will encounter them. In order to deal with this highly unpredictable, complex, contact-rich environment we investigate the exploitation of all nature of sensory inputs (camera, tactile, force-torque, sound, etc.) for adapting the robot’s movements in real-time based on perceptual experience. The unstructured nature of the domain requires an imaginative and innovative approach to problem solving that employs a deep understanding of the potential capabilities of the various technologies and techniques available (hardware, software and algorithmic) coupled with a determinism to see a solution through to the point that it can be trusted to perform.

What would I be doing?

Your role as a robotics research engineer within the ARM team will be to suggest and research possible solutions to our grocery picking problems, and implement solutions that can improve the current performance of our existing robotic picking systems. We also work alongside the teams that are closer to production to ensure that our solutions fit their problems in practice with testing and validation of our system in both laboratory and realistic production settings.

Your responsibilities include:

  • Research and design novel computer vision/machine learning methods for problems such as: object tracking and pose estimation, semantic segmentation, real-time image registration, point cloud fusion, and sensor fusion.

  • Develop prototypes of these algorithms and demonstrate them in a laboratory environment.

  • Formulate and propose novel directions for research in perception for robotic manipulation that would improve our manipulation capabilities.

  • Collaborate with other research and production teams in robotic perception and manipulation.

  • Follow research developments in computer vision and perception for robotic manipulation which can be applied to our problems.

What are we looking for?

This role suits an enthusiastic robotics researcher who has proven knowledge and experience in robot vision. We would like to hear from you if you have a PhD/MSc degree in robotics/computer vision, have efficiently worked in a team and have experience in:

  • C++ and/or Python programming

  • Developing and integrating robotics software

  • Applying computer vision techniques in robot control including visual servoing

  • Camera calibration techniques

  • Geometric computer vision, linear algebra and non-linear optimisation

  • Prototyping with any of the following: state estimation, object detection and pose estimation, scene understanding, 3D reconstruction, camera calibration, sensor fusion.

This would make you stand out from crowd

  • Working with robot manipulators

  • Training and evaluating Deep Learning models

Our Values

We champion a value-led culture to get our teams working at their very best and to help create a collaborative working environment with inspiring projects 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.

What we 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. We regularly review our benefits to ensure we are supporting our employees appropriately. Currently, we offer technically stretching work, a competitive salary and;

  • A Work from Home policy that sees you in the office typically 40% of your time.

  • 30 days ‘working from anywhere’ policy

  • Equity Plan (10-15% of salary) for eligible roles

  • Wellbeing support through Apps such as Unmind and an Employee Assistance Programme

  • 25 days annual leave, rising to 27 days after 5 years service (plus optional holiday purchase)

  • Pension scheme (various options available including employer contribution matching up to 7%)

  • Private Medical Insurance

  • 22 weeks paid maternity leave and 6 weeks paid paternity leave (once relevant service requirements complete)

  • Train Ticket loan (interest-free)

  • Cycle to Work Scheme

  • Free shuttle bus to and from Welwyn Garden City Train Station to the Welwyn Garden City offices

  • Opportunity to participate in Sharesave and Buy as You Earn share schemes

  • 15% discount on Ocado.com and free delivery for all employees

  • Income Protection (can be up to 50% of salary for 3 years) and Life Assurance (3 x annual salary)

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

Be bold, be unique, be brilliant, be you. We are looking for individuality and we value diversity. We are an equal opportunities employer and we are committed to treating all applicants and employees fairly and equally. We are committed to making reasonable adjustments to provide a positive, barrier-free recruitment process and supportive work environment. If you have any support or access requirements, we encourage you to advise us at the time of application.

We are thrilled to welcome applicants from across the world. Whilst we are able to offer visa sponsorship, please note that we are only able to cover costs relating to the Certificate of Sponsorship and the Immigration Skills Charge only. For all employment offers made for UK roles, it is expected that you will be based in the UK in commutable distance, ready for your first day of work, so please keep this in mind. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

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. 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. All benefits information is subject to change and the terms of the individual arrangements. Please assume you have been unsuccessful if you haven’t heard from us within 4 weeks.

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