Orchestrating Robot Swarms with Java (17:30 - 18:20 on Wednesday)

Matthew CornfordThe Automation Guy

Java and the JVM play a critical role in the running of Ocado’s automated warehouses. During this talk, we will take a look at the role Java has to play in the orchestration of huge robot swarms within our warehouses, and show how we can achieve superior efficiencies of scale. We’ll explore in detail some of the tools and techniques employed to develop our Java based control systems, whilst also considering the benefits and challenges the use of Java has presented. This will include: * The use of simulation to model the physical world with Java * Our focus on determinism and places within the Java language that do not provide deterministic behaviour * Examples of where we have used profiling and micro-benchmarking to identify algorithms and data-structures to be optimised * GC selection, tuning and analysis * Maintaining performance whilst introducing virtualisation * An example of Java and C interoperability to unlock fast and comprehensive test coverage The aim is that by the end of this talk, you’ll have a new appreciation of the versatility of Java and what is possible with the language.


Matthew is a Technology Lead and Evangelist at Ocado Technology, helping develop the pioneering software underpinning Ocado’s highly automated warehouses - the most evolved of their kind in the world. In addition to being excited by the value unlocked in automating physical processes within Ocado’s warehouses, Matthew is also a strong proponent of all aspects of software automation and the benefits that brings. With 10 years previous experience as a Java software developer and software engineering team lead, Matthew is starting to pursue his enjoyment of sharing his expertise and experience with others. Beyond regularly presenting internally at Ocado Technology, Matthew has previously spoken at the Computing DevOps summit in 2018 and is lined up as a speaker at QCon London 2019. Prior to Ocado Technology, Matthew has worked in companies large and small, including Cisco Systems and Goldman Sachs. He completed both a BSc in Mathematics and an MSc in Mathematical Modelling and Scientific Computing at the University of Oxford. Outside of work, you'll find Matthew raising his two young daughters and training for his next half marathon.