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Autocado Ripens Chipotle's Robotics Outlook
Verity raises $11M, Starship goes wireless, delivery webinar tomorrow
Happy Monday! Let’s kick off the week with another big round of restaurant robotics and hospitality automation news.
Chipotle & Vebu Roll Out Autocado
Chipotle is testing a new avocado processing robot — Autocado — at its Cultivate Center in Irvine, California. The robot, designed by Vebu Labs, can hold, cut, core, and scoop 25 pounds of avocados at once. This test aligns with Chipotle's broader strategy to implement labor-saving technology, following its investments in Nuro, an autonomous delivery startup, and Miso Robotics, which developed a tortilla chip-making robot, Chippy. Chipotle has also invested in Vebu as part of its $50 million Cultivate Next venture fund. Vebu and Chipotle predict that enhancements to Autocado could halve the time it takes to prepare guacamole, from 50 to about 25 minutes, allowing staff to focus more on guest service and hospitality.
Starship Technologies Adds Wireless Charging
Taking a page from warehouse robots’ playbook, Starship Technologies announced that its delivery bots could now recharge themselves wirelessly. The company’s latest bots will navigate themselves to a specially equipped power bank when they need to add energy, further decreasing the amount of human labor used in their operations.
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Verity Raises Additional $11 Million
Verity AG, a company focused on integrating drones into inventory management, has raised an additional $11 million from Qualcomm, bring its Series B funding round total to $43M. With plans to use the funding to address key operational challenges in the supply chain industry, such as labor shortages and inventory errors, Verity combines autonomous drones and data analytics to improve operational efficiencies. Co-founded by Raffaello D'Andrea, who also co-founded the warehouse automation company Kiva Systems, Verity offers clients real-time inventory visibility, cost reductions, improved customer service, and reduced CO2 emissions. The company has installations in 13 countries, and its other investors include A.P. Moller Holding and Exor Ventures, Fontinalis Partners, Airbus Ventures, Sony Innovation Fund, ROBO Global Ventures, and Verve Ventures.
Tomorrow - Webinar on the Future of Delivery
Tune in on July 18th at 10 AM Pacific / 1 PM Eastern for “Connecting the Dots in Delivery as a Service.” Hear from our Publisher, Jonah Bliss, as well as Joyride’s Andrew Miles and Whizz’s Ksenia Proka, as they discuss the trends affecting last mile delivery, including small scale vehicles and robotics.
In Other News
Battle beneath the skies: armed with new patent, Valqari's claim on drone delivery boxes heats up. Nextgen updates food ordering app with LLM, seems mostly to be serving up buzzwords. Harvard-invented soft peristaltic pump shows promise for food and drink robotics.