Delivers.AI Plans Q1 U.S. Launch
MOTO lands dough, Pipedream Labs launches in Georgia, Chipotle invests in Greenfield
It may almost be the holidays, but the world of food robotics isn’t yet taking a break! Read on for big news from Delivers.AI, Sweetgreen, MOTO, Amazon and more.
Delivers.AI Plans U.S. Launch in Q1
European delivery robotics startup Delivers.AI is closing in on its U.S. launch, months after we first reported its partnership with Georgia-based grocer Nourish + Bloom. In a statement shared exclusively with OttOmate, Founder Ali Yarali noted the two companies have completed their API integration, have finished mapping the first delivery zones, and the initial allotment of robots are being shipped to the region. Operations are planned to start in Q1 of 2024. This comes hot on the heels of Delivers.AI teaming up with Deliverect to allow the latter’s customers to dispatch to robots in in the U.K., Belgium and the Netherlands.
Pipedream Launches Underground Deliveries in Georgia
On the opposite side of metro Atlanta from Nourish + Bloom’s high-tech grocery store, Pipedream Labs just announced a breakthrough in Peachtree Corners. The startup has launched the first phase of its underground delivery network; the current system is 0.7 miles long and connects the Curiosity Lab office park with a shopping center that would otherwise require traversing a busy highway. Think of it as delivery bots meet pneumatic tubes — restaurant and retail partners can load their goods into the machines, which then bring it back to hungry office workers on the other side. Pipedream’s VP of Strategy & Partnerships, discussed the concept in depth at last March’s Curbivore.
Now’s a great reminder that tickets to Curbivore are still just $175! Celebrate the holidays by scoring tickets to the industry’s most interesting event, where we bring together tech innovators like Pipedream Labs, alongside the foremost investors, entrepreneurs, food service giants, delivery networks and policymakers. Register now!
Robotic Pizzeria MOTO Lands Fresh Funding
Seattle pizza purveyor MOTO just raised $1.85 million, as the robot-powered chain plans its expansion. The company, which prides itself on funky toppings like beef adobo, kimchi, clams, crab meat and balsamic glaze, makes ample use of Picnic’s pizza automation makeline. The new capital will let it expand past its four Seattle-area locations, with its newest restaurant planned for Southern California’s Coachella Valley region. The company has also signed an agreement with Zipline to deliver pizzas by drone.
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Chipotle Invests in Greenfield Robotics
Chipotle’s $50M Cultivate Next investment arm has invested in Greenfield Robotics, a maker of AI-powered farming robots that can plant, weed add nutrients and test soil. The burrito chain has previously invested in automated makeline startup Hyphen as well as robotics incubator Vebu Labs.
Sweetgreen Loses Chief Development Officer
Salad maker Sweetgreen’s CDO Jim McPhail is leaving the company, effective December 31st. As his role included site selection, lease administration and construction / facilities management, McPhail oversaw the company’s ambitious expansion into automation, via its Infinite Kitchen program. Prior to spending 4.25 years at the SoCal-based chain, McPhail was the Chief Growth Officer at Philz Coffee. Timothy Noonan, the current VP of Operations, Strategy and Restaurant Concept Design, will take over the position; he’s been with the company since 2009.
Amazon Loses Drone Head, Resumes U.K. Market Expansion
Amazon’s beleaguered drone delivery arm has suffered another setback as Sean Cassidy, its head of safety, flight operations and regulatory affairs, has stepped down. While competitors large and small have received the FAA’s blessing and launched commercial trials, Amazon’s is perhaps more famous for a crash that caused a fire in Oregon. The shopping giant’s grocery ambitions, on the other hand, are back on track. It recently opened its 20th high-tech U.K. store in Notting Hill.
In Other News
Faction CEO shares why his autonomous delivery company’s scrappy ambitions will beat the competition. CloudKitchens turns to automation as facilities sit idle. RoboSense unveils new lidar geared towards Level 3 autonomy. FrazyBot makes bartender-quality drinks at home. Tesla unveils Optimus Gen 2 humanoid robot. Nvidia makes its robotics development simulator Isaac Sim available on AWS.