Robotics Research Software Engineer (Computer Vision)

Last updated one month ago
Job Type:Full Time

“We are on a mission to transform the future of online grocery retail through sustained technology innovation.”

Ocado Technology is putting the world’s retailers online using advanced artificial intelligence, robotics, big data, the cloud and IoT. We develop the innovative software and hardware systems that power, as well as the unique ‘Ocado Smart Platform’ which is being implemented by ambitious retailers across the world from Europe to America, Asia and beyond. With everything from websites to highly automated warehouses that we design in-house, our employees are skilled specialists with expertise across a wide range of technologies, working on cutting-edge innovations that are shaping the future of our society.

What does the Robotics Research Team do?

The robotics research team is working on sensor-guided robotic systems to further improve the efficiency of our operation. Our primary goal is to find the best way to deploy robots in the production of grocery orders. In order to do this, we pursue cutting-edge research into state of the art algorithms, sensing technologies, and manipulation techniques.

The robotics research team is currently undergoing an expansion and we are looking to hire an electronics/mechatronics expert to support and enhance the team's capabilities.

As part of our effort to be in the vanguard of robotics research, the team has been involved in two European Union funded Horizon 2020 research projects with a number of leading European Universities:-

  • The SoMa project was concerned with using inherently compliant robotic mechanisms in order to exploit environmental constraints to manipulate objects with a wide variety of properties in highly variable environments. More details of the project and the list of other participants can be found at the project's website:
  • Ocado coordinated the project SecondHands: the aim of the project is to develop a robot that will act as an assistant to Ocado maintenance technicians that is able to understand a technician's activity and proactively offer assistance in a timely manner, i.e. it will behave as a second pair of hands for the technician. More details of the project and the list of other participants can be found at the project's website:

In addition to these projects, the team liaises with a number of leading universities performing robotics and related autonomous systems research.

What would I be doing?

We are currently looking to expand the Robotics Research team with further computer vision expertise. Ideally, we are looking for candidates with a diverse range of computer vision expertise and experience, particularly as applied to the guidance of robotic manipulation.

In order to make the most of the high degree of autonomy that members of the team enjoy we expect you to:-

  • Participate effectively in investigating and implementing computer vision solutions to a wide variety of automation problems
  • Take an active role in the choice of technologies and techniques used in the delivery of computer vision demonstrators.
  • Develop algorithms and implement practical software solutions to specific computer vision applications.
  • Documentation of theoretical developments and their software implementation.
  • Demonstrate working systems and thoroughly test them to establish their operational limits.
  • Attend regular meetings to report on progress and share ideas
  • Work closely with other team members on issues relating to design and requirements.

What we are looking for

Candidates are expected to have:

  • 2:1 or 1st class degree (or equivalent) in one of the following subjects:-
    • Computer Science,
    • Informatics,
    • Joint Computing & Maths,
    • Robotics, Mechatronics, Cybernetics or other Engineering discipline with a strong software engineering component.
  • A postgraduate qualification, ideally a PhD, in a relevant area, or a demonstrable track record of the ability to perform novel work in a cutting edge environment on challenging projects.

Candidates are sought with knowledge and experience of computer vision and machine learning techniques, including a number of the following:-

  • Point Cloud Processing
  • Depth Map Processing
  • 2D/3D Segmentation,
  • Multi-view Geometry (eg Registration, Camera Calibration),
  • Object detection, Identification and Tracking,
  • Visual Servoing,
  • Feature extraction,
  • Image filtering,
  • Motion and event detection,
  • Video processing
  • Level set methods
  • Machine learning:-
    • Graph Neural Networks,
    • Convolutional Neural Networks,
    • Neural Networks/ Deep learning,
    • Classification methods,
    • Reinforcement learning,
    • Statistical learning,
    • Kernel methods,
    • Gaussian mixture models,
    • Gaussian processes

The primary development languages are Python and C/C++ in Linux.

Knowledge of OpenCV, the Point Cloud Library, Tensorflow and PyTorch would be highly desirable.

What we can 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. Within our flexible environment we can offer technically stretching work, a competitive salary and share schemes. Benefits include pension scheme, train season ticket loan (interest-free), free shuttle bus from Hatfield train station and of course, healthy Ocado retail staff discounts.

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

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.

Please note: 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.

Be bold, be unique, be brilliant, be you. We are looking for individuality and we value diversity above gender, sexual orientation, race, nationality, ethnicity, religion, age, disability or union participation. We are an equal opportunities employer and we are committed to treating all applicants and employees fairly and equally.