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Supply Chain

Ocado Seeks To Patent Warehouse System

Ocado Group, the U.K.’s largest online- only food retailer, has applied for a U.S. patent on an invention that would eliminate aisles and waste space in warehouses.

The appplication, published on Thursday in the database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, covers what the Hatfield, U.K.-based distribution company calls “storage systems and methods for retrieving units from a storage system.”

The invention includes a storage system with a frame over which robotic devices can move, lift, stack and retrieve containers. Two robotic devices can work together to remove a container.

With present warehouse systems, storage must allow for access to contents on rows of shelves arranged in aisles, Ocado said. By using robots, a company can store more goods in less space.

Ocado applied for the patent in November 2014, according to the patent office.

Bloomberg News, edited by ESM

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