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Just Walk Out Targets Clothiers, Tesla Secures Restaurant Permits
New Kernel exec, Kyochon + Neubility, Badger, Pudu
Happy Monday everyone, your friends here at OttOmate have another delicious batch of news to get you through the week.
Amazon Just Walk Out Specially Tailored for Clothing Retailers
Amazon announced integration of RFIDs with its "Just Walk Out" system, specially tailoring it for clothing and other soft good retailers. After successful trials at Seattle's Climate Pledge Arena, this technology was adopted at Lumen Field, home to the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks. The inaugural Just Walk Out store at Lumen Field witnessed a significant uptick in customer transactions. With the RFID addition, each item in the store has a unique tag, which, upon exit, is read and the shopper's payment method is charged. The integration is supported by materials giant Avery Dennison.
Amazon now boasts 70+ company owned locations with Just Walk Out tech enabled, and an additional 85+ third party retailers use the technology as well. Shoppers can use the system at travel retailers in airports like LAX, LGA, and IAD; at stadiums and venues including T-Mobile Park, Javits Center, and Crypto.com Arenal; at theme parks like Six Flags Great Adventure; at c-stores like QuikTrip and Pronto Pantry; and at university campuses including Texas A&M, Cal State, and University of Pittsburgh. Separately, the retail giant announced new integrations with FreedomPay for its Amazon One palmprint checkout tech.
Ex-Wonder Exec Pops Over to Kernel Foods
Stephen Goldstein, formerly the COO of the food-delivery startup Wonder, has been appointed as the president of Kernel Foods as the company readies for its debut in New York City. Steve Ells, the founder of Chipotle, is behind Kernel, an automated, plant-based restaurant concept set to launch this fall in Manhattan. With experience spanning various major companies, including Deliveroo and Restaurant Brands International, Goldstein is well-poised to steer Kernel Foods. Designed to function with minimal staff, the outlets, which are around 800 square feet, will operate with a central kitchen using a hub-and-spoke model. Ells envisions the expansion of Kernel to approximately 15 locations within two years and is also considering licensing its technology to other restaurant chains. The company recently secured $36 million in a Series A fundraising round with investments from notable firms such as Raga Partners and Rethink Food.
Kyochon Chicken Trialing Neubility’s Delivery Robots
Kyochon F&B, the entity behind South Korea's renowned Kyochon Chicken brand, is conducting a trial of a robot delivery service in collaboration with autonomous robot company Neubility. The test will run until October 30 and focuses on deliveries within Konkuk University using Neubility's robot, Neubie. Orders are made through a dedicated system integrated with KakaoTalk, allowing users to set specific delivery spots within the university. Neubie then autonomously collects and delivers the orders. Besides autonomous delivery, Kyochon is also exploring other IT innovations, such as collaborative cooking robots in partnership with Neuromeka and drone delivery services in conjunction with Pablo Air.
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Badger Unveils Updated Marty
Stop & Shop, in collaboration with retail automation company Badger Technologies, has broadened its deployment of "Marty the Robot" across over 300 of its Northeast stores. Originally introduced in January 2019, Marty’s capabilities have been expanded from identifying potential floor hazards to also pinpointing out-of-stock items and misplacements on shelves. By notifying associates about restocking requirements, Marty aids in maintaining better on-shelf product availability for customers. Stop & Shop's President, Gordon Reid, emphasized the value added by Marty in ensuring in-store safety and highlighted the robot's new capabilities that enable associates to dedicate more time to customer interaction. The advanced version of Marty leverages computer vision, AI-driven insights, and cloud analytics to enhance customer experience through real-time inventory monitoring and swift restocking.
Pudu Learns to Navigate Otis Elevators
Pudu Robotics, has integrated its delivery robot, FlashBot, with elevators using Nippon Otis’ Integrated Dispatch™ technology in Japan. This allows FlashBot to autonomously operate elevators for efficient deliveries in multi-story buildings. The integration uses a flexible cloud-based API system, enabling the robot to connect seamlessly with various elevators. FlashBot is equipped with advanced 3D obstacle avoidance, IoT communication capabilities, UV germicidal lamps for safe deliveries, and a 6-wheel independent suspension for smooth movement.
Tesla Restaurant Secures Permits
Tesla has secured permit approval from the LA Department of Building and Safety to establish a Diner and Drive-In Movie Supercharger in Los Angeles. The site, originally slated for Santa Monica, will now be situated at 7001 W. Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood. This unique concept includes 32 charging stalls, a diner with rooftop seating, and two movie screens. After an eight-month wait following Tesla's application submission in November 2022, the City of Los Angeles approved the plans in late July. Stantec Architecture is spearheading the architectural aspects, while PCL Construction Services Inc. will oversee construction. On August 9, the grading inspection was approved, indicating that Tesla can commence construction.
In Other News
See Chipotle’s new robot that can churn out almost 200 burrito bowls per hour. Firefighters “rescue” Starship delivery bot that was trapped by hose. Grocery execs share their automation desires. ShopRite cancels self-checkout rollout in Delaware after customers revolt. An exploration of Sweetgreen’s margins. Cartken and Grubhub launch delivery bots at Cal State Bakersfield. CA Gov. Newsom vetoes AV trucking restrictions. Plant-based meat makers Hooray Foods and Nowadays close up shop. Skepticism on whether or not delivery bots will hurt employment. The Food Company’s Nick Nanakos talks automation, innovation and growth.