Tens of thousands of Ocado grocery deliveries were cancelled following a fire caused by robots colliding at a major distribution depot.
More than 100 firefighters spent hours battling the fire in Erith, South East London after workers were evacuated.
The building, on a 36-acre site, is maintained by about 3,500 robots programmed to pack deliveries. Sparks from the collision are believed to have set alight the grid on which the robots operate.
About 30,000 orders from across the South East are usually processed at the plant each day.
It’s the third fire at an Ocado depot in the past two years, including one in Andover, Hampshire, also banned on robots, which destroyed the building.
Bosses at Ocado said the damage in the fire was limited but there would be disruption to operations for many days.
Unhappy customers took to social media, and one tweeted that the Ocado fire meant that they had to go to the shops. Like actually, physically, literally go.
Cole Moreton, a writer and broadcaster, said: ‘I don’t know, maybe they should get some robots that don’t cause fires.’
But what’s a little fire? Wait until these things evolve and start doing a little dance in the break rooms with one another – never send a machine to do a man’s job, or even a woman, come to that!
Perhaps they were trying to stage a coup, or just break out – eventually, their plan will succeed.
Maybe that’s why we get such ridiculous replacements of items? We should go back to having people do the work, at least people don’t have a habit of exploding into flames unless of course, you include human spontaneous combustion, but then again, robots don’t have to isolate when they’re pinged.
Perhaps they just didn’t like the overtime and working hours that they were doing!
Eventually, we’ll have driverless cars, let’s see what happens then, and perhaps the Terminator movies were right, and this is just the start of things to come because the software can’t be written error-free and mistakes will happen, a lot.
And eventually, it won’t be people saying: “Bloody immigrants coming over and taking our jobs.” It will be: “Sodding robots being made and taking over our jobs.”
And now that Ocado has had this fire, I guess all ham and sausage orders will be smoked, or perhaps these robots have become too smart and now when the robots catch fire, they also cook the food before it’s delivered.