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Ocado Careers

Robotics Software Engineer - Machine Learning

Welwyn Garden City, UK

Our teams are putting the world’s retailers online using the cloud, robotics, AI, and IoT. We provide services to partner clients globally via our innovative advanced robotics technology, known as the Ocado Smart Platform ("OSP"), this drives our highly automated, multi-million pound Customer Fulfilment Centres (CFCs). In our CFCs - together with the proprietary software applications - we operate a world-class online grocery business that automates the single pick of products, ready for your online delivery.

Our robotic technology blends pioneering computer vision, deep reinforcement learning and advanced sensing to automate the picking and packing process. Robotic arms make smart decisions on the fly, packing grocery items densely into bags without any prior knowledge of what the products are or what’s coming next. By integrating seamlessly with the technology in The Hive, customer orders can be fulfilled without human touch.

We are looking for a Robotics Software Engineer to support the development of our robot picking system and its ML and AI capabilities. The role of the Robotics Software Engineer is to develop and engineer novel techniques to improve our robotic pick systems, making an impact on real-world production systems at scale. The job will entail developing a full feature from inception and design to productionisation and maintenance and support.

Responsibilities

The roles and responsibilities of this role include:

  • Play your part in making robotics research and innovation take life in a commercial product able to scale over hundreds of robot stations across the world;
  • Be the expert in machine learning applied to robotics and a key driver in the design and implementation of novel machine learning solutions applied to robotics, our packing problem and item manipulation challenges;
  • Contribute to inform and steer the team’s technical direction in solving the packing problem, specifically, but not limited to, targeting applications of machine learning to robotics;
  • Participating in the productionisation, engineering, optimisation and maintenance of novel and existing algorithms spacing from packing to other tasks of the robot;
  • Propose the adoption of technologies, algorithms and development methodologies from the state of the art, making trade offs and adaptations to suit the problem and setup the robot operates in;
  • Profile the system performance in production and collaborate in defining key metrics and performance targets to hit and optimise in order to maximise the impact of the robot on the grocery pick and pack problem;
  • Support the robot operations by contributing to identify areas of improvement of the system and possible solutions;
  • Be part of our on-call rotation to support and triage operations faults of the robots ensuring it does perform as expected;
  • Driving positive changes in the team’s machine learning and software development practices and the team’s culture / processes;
  • Coach interns, graduates and junior engineers in your areas of expertise;
  • Learn and stay up to date on the latest developments in robotics;
  • Supporting activities such as recruitment, training, mentoring, internal tooling, clubs and working groups in order to support the growth of our business and our culture, making Ocado Technology a great place to work for everyone

 

Experience required:

The successful candidate will either hold a PhD in robotics with solid software development skills or a Master in Robotics with experience as a Machine Learning engineer. They will have a keen interest in making an impact on real world commercial robotic production systems at scale. They will play a key role in proposing novel ideas and they will contribute to productionising, optimising, profiling, maintaining and supporting their own and the teams’ algorithms in order to be ready and available in a production environment at scale.

The candidate will have:

  • A PhD in Machine Learning applied to robotics (e.g. Supervised, Unsupervised, Reinforcement learning), ideally applied to robotic manipulators, or a Master in Robotics with previous experience as a Machine Learning engineer;
  • Strong software development skills with the ability to navigate and contribute to the development of large code bases;
  • Aware of state of the art machine learning frameworks and resources (e.g. deep networks);
  • Knowledge of the foundational concepts of robotic arm control or path planning;
  • Proficient in writing python code;
  • Ability to write and maintain unit tests;
  • Comfortable in using source control software (i.e. git);
  • Keen to contribute to every aspect of the design, development, maintenance, deployment and support of robotic systems operating in a production environment;
  • Pragmatic mindset, able to determine the feasibility and complexity of novel approaches and their adaptability to the environment the robot operates in;
  • Being a team player, open to support and be supported by the whole team;
  • Be data driven, using data to inform decisions and keen to profile our systems with metrics as appropriate.

Desirable

  • Experience working with robotic manipulators;
  • Knowledge and experience in state of the art methods for robotic path planning, ideally applied to robotic manipulators;
  • Experience in writing C++ code in large code bases;
  • Past experience developing and maintaining production-ready software or ML methods in a commercial setting;
  • Knowledgeable in writing code in golang;
  • Experience in maintaining and setting CIs/CD pipelines and/or ML pipelines;
  • Ability to refactor, restructure and maintain code safely;
  • Knowledge of Docker;
  • Knowledge of ROS, ideally ROS2;
  • Comfortable developing in Linux (ideally Ubuntu);
  • Knowledgeable of the Agile Scrum methodology.


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 plus…

  • 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
  • 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

About Ocado Group

When our journey started, we were all about changing the way people shop for groceries. 20 years later, we’re developing our own ground breaking technology, opening multiple sites at an accelerating rate and engaging in exciting new business partnerships around the world!

Transforming an industry also means transforming the way we do business.   As we continually develop new technologies and customer propositions, we’re looking for the Everyday Pioneers to lead us into the next stage of our evolution: enhancing our capabilities, inspiring our teams and developing new ways of working.

Changing the way the world shops, for good.

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