Delivery 'Bots Off to Vancouver 🍕 and Rome ✈️
Plus: Your next Wingman?
Serve’s Robot Takes Off, to the Great White North (It’s a Beauty Way to Go)
For those old enough to remember, there was a time when eating at Pizza Hut was a magical experience. It was a sit-down restaurant. There was a Pac-Man or Asteroids machine in the corner. And the pizza was served in a piping hot cast iron pan.
It’s probably been since the early 80s that I ate at one, but the experience of getting Pizza Hut pizza just got a little more magical. Well, a little more magical if you live in or are visiting Vancouver, Canada over the next two days.
That’s because Pizza Hut Canada announced this week that it is testing out autonomous robot delivery using Serve Robotics. According to the press release:
Pizza Hut on 1725 Robson Street in Vancouver was selected as the first location for the pilot. Customers selected for robotic delivery will be able to use the Pizza Hut app to track the robot’s location as their order approaches and will receive a unique, one-time pin to retrieve their order from the robot’s secure compartment.
This particular phase of the pilot will run until Sept. 30. (So run and place your order!)
This is the first major announced relationship with a big-name restaurant brand for Serve (the robots were working with Chili’s, but that was never formally announced). Serve has been doing deliveries for Uber Eats in LA, but that’s not with a specific restaurant, and, let’s be honest — that’s kind of a gimmie, given that Serve was spun out of Uber).
Vancouver, it appears, has a much more adventurous disposition towards delivery robots. Its sibling city Toronto decided to ban sidewalk robots last year.
No word yet on whether Serve’s Level 4 autonomy during this Vancouver pilot will now include copious amounts of apologizing. (← ZING! Canadian humor!)
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L'aeroporto di Roma saluta i robot
Ottonomy.io’s Ottobot 2.0 robot is now making deliveries at pier A of Terminal 1 at Aeroporti di Roma (ADR). Customers use a QR code to order food, beverages n’ stuff from participating retailers, and get that order delivered to their gate.
Ottonomy, you might remember, made headlines last year when it launched autonomous delivery at the CVG airport in Cincinnatti.
I DM’d Ottonomy Founder and CEO, Ritukar Vijay and asked him if airports are a big focus for his company right now, to which he replied “Airports are multiplying.” Which, on its face sounds like some kind of B-movie lab experiment gone wrong “THEY’RE MULTIPLYING!!!!! AAAAAGGGGHH!” But more likely is just confirmation that this won’t be the last such announcement we hear from Ottonomy.
You Can Be My Wingman Anytime
Nala Robotics, which previously made the Nala Chef 1.1 multi-course meal robot and the PizzAIola pizza robot is jumping into the deep fryer. Like Miso Robotics, Lab2Fab and Karakuri, Nala now has its Wingman automated frying system. (Related: Chipotle announced this week it will use its first Miso’s Chippy robot at a Fountain Valley, CA location.)
As I’ve written about before, deep frying is low-hanging fruit for robots. The work is dangerous and repetitive — perfect for a robot. Hence Miso, L2F, Karakuri and now Nala all dunking themselves into that potential vat of money.
If you want a Wingman, rental options start at $2,999 per month. Iceman not included.
That’s it for this week! Thanks for reading.