3D Printed Burger Comes to America, European Foodtech Investment Up
PUDU Open Platform, Grubhub + Just Walk Out
We hope you had a great Labor Day weekend — what a perfect holiday for the OttOmate community: once the robots take over, every day can be a (no) labor day! Now on to this week’s news…
Pudu Robotics Launches Open Platform
Pudu Robotics has launched the PUDU Open Platform, enabling robot distributors to program and customize robots with greater ease. This development addresses historical challenges of complex robot programming, offering standardized remote access to core robot functions. The platform enhances the integration of robots into industries by automating tasks like food ordering and inventory management, promoting efficiency, and providing advanced analytics. Felix Zhang, the CEO of Pudu Robotics, noted “As robots further integrate into mainstream industries such as restaurant, hospitality, retail and healthcare, a standardized platform is critical to improving efficiency of workflows, lowering barriers to robotic adoption, and boosting revenue."
Foodtech Investment Perks Up in Europe
Q2 2023 saw some mixed results for investments into foodtech. While investment cooled slightly worldwide, things are turning around in Europe, where funding is up 100M euros compared to the previous quarter. This trend could lead to European startups comprising 30% of worldwide foodtech investments, up from the 10-15% level they’ve seen in recent years. Additionally, investments are more focused on the upstream and midstream parts of the value chains, aligning with an increased interest in climate and impact-driven ventures. However, the median deal size continues to shrink, indicating a shift towards early-stage startups.
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Sodexo Brings SavorEat’s 3D Printed Burger to U.S.
Food service conglomerate Sodexo has teamed up with plant-based 3D printing company SavorEat to introduce SavorEat's 3D printing robot, the Robot Chef, at the University of Denver. This collaboration represents the first U.S. deployment of the Israeli firm's innovative 3D printing technology. Having gone public in 2021 on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, SavorEat has spent five years developing its tech which prints and cooks customizable plant-based burgers. Recently, the company transitioned from promoting the plant-based 3D printing feature to emphasizing the burger printer's capabilities as an autonomous chef. They anticipate that their technology will significantly reduce restaurant operation costs. Originally planned for a 2022 launch, Sodexo aims to study the robot chef's system within higher education institutions in the U.S. Furthermore, SavorEat envisions its 3D meat printers becoming a staple in households, complementing appliances like microwaves. Currently, the University of Denver's Rebecca Chopp Grand Central Market in Community Commons will offer burgers from the Robot Chef.
Grubhub Just Walks Out on Campus
Grubhub Campus announced a new partnership with Amazon's Just Walk Out technology, deploying it at Loyola University Maryland. This collaboration marks the first time Grubhub has integrated this technology at a partnered campus. Amazon's Just Walk Out technology facilitates a seamless shopping experience, allowing university members to shop without scanning products or standing in checkout lines. Instead, students scan a QR code from the Grubhub app to enter the store. The technology then detects items they pick up or return to shelves. Upon exiting the store, payments are automatically processed via their Grubhub account. Leveraging AI, computer vision, and deep learning, the technology can effectively recognize shopping activities in various conditions. Grubhub collaborates with 300 higher education institutions, allowing students to integrate their meal plans directly into their Grubhub account.