Britain's Ocado to buy robotics start-up Myrmex for $10.2 million

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"Bots" are seen on the grid of the "smart platform" at the Ocado CFC (Customer Fulfilment Centre) in Andover, Britain May 1, 2018. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls//File Photo

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LONDON, May 23 (Reuters) - British online supermarket and technology group Ocado (OCDO.L) has agreed to buy materials handling robotics start-up Myrmex Inc for $10.2 million, it said on Monday.

Ocado acquired a minority stake in Athens-based Myrmex in 2020 and tasked it with developing a system that automates the loading of containers with customer orders onto frames ready for dispatch from Ocado's warehouses.

The "Automated Frameload" solution it developed is set to go live in Ocado's warehouses later this year.

It is part of a suite of innovations, also including lightweight robots and hi-tech van routing systems, that Ocado unveiled in January. read more

Ocado said Myrmex's technology also has potential applications for store locations, specifically for automating the grocery order pick-up process. read more

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Reporting by James Davey, Editing by Kylie MacLellan

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