Extra: DoorDash Bots, Drones are Hot and Starbucks' Cashierless Shot

Plus GetChkd and Yandex.

Listen, I’m sorry to barrage you with two emails in as many days, but as soon as I hit “send” on yesterday’s newsletter, there was a flurry of rather important food automation news and activity. I want you to stay informed so I’m putting out a brief extra shot email to keep you caught up (and so it’s not a week old by the next newsletter).

I won’t make this a habit and I will keep this short.

DoorDash Officially Launches Robotics and Automation Arm

The third-party delivery service is getting into the robot game. We don’t have many details — will they develop their own robot or use someone else’s? — but by the looks of a corporate blog post, it seems it will be starting with middle mile delivery. DoorDash owns Chowbotics, so look for some marriage between robot food prep and robot delivery in the not too distant future.

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Flytrex Raises $40M, Shares Some of its Stats

Flytrex announced a $40 million Series C raise this morning. One of the investors is OurCrowd, which operates an equity crowdfunding platform. Flytrex is running an equity campaign on OurCrowd, looking to raise $3.9 million (we reached out to see how this funding does/doesn’t fit into the Series C). As part of that campaign, Flytrex shared some information about itself, like listing its revenues for fiscal year 2021 at $100,000. See what other tidbits we were able to glean from that campaign.

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Exclusive: GetChkd is Building a Universal Verfication/Payment System for Retail with Blockchain and Biometrics

GetChkd has built a system that uses blockchain and biometrics that can be layered on top of unattended, autonomous retail and restaurants. GetChkd would verify a customer’s identity and age (to buy beer!) and allow them to pay for goods around the world with just a wave of their hand.

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Yandex’s Third-gen Delivery has a Swappable Battery

Yandex took the wraps off its third-gen robot and shared some details about its design changes (removable battery, repositioned lidar, more cameras), as well as its rigorous testing process. It’s worth a read for anyone looking to see how delivery robots are developed and the complications that arise.

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Starbucks Testing Amazon’s Cashierless Checkout

TechCrunch actually got the scoop on this. The first location is in New York City and will feature a store-within-a-store inside Starbucks where customers can swipe a credit card (or use the Amazon Shopping app or Amazon palm pay) to enter, grab what they want and go. It’s worth noting because cashierless checkout has been accelerating over the past year. The teaming of two giant retailers could help Amazon extend its lead in the field.

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That’s it. Remember the OttOmate Pizza Automation Event is this morning. If you hurry, you can still get a ticket!


This is really it for the week. Thanks for reading!

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