Miso Robotics Opens SoCal Restaurant
Cartken, Serve, Starship have holiday cheer
Christmas came early for robo-aficionados, with new store openings from both CaliExpress by Flippy and Sweetgreen. We’ve also got some sidewalk bot updates from Cartken, Serve and Starship, an unmanned cargo flight and more!
Miso Robotics, Cali Group Open Autonomous Restaurant in SoCal
Wow, it’s been a big few months for new robotic restaurant openings. Adding to the list is CaliExpress by Flippy, now open in Pasadena, California. This new restaurant, which aims to serve up wagyu burgers at a lower price point, is a joint effort between Miso Robotics (the brand behind Flippy) and Cali Group (a retail / restaurant holding group that’s invested in Kitchen United, Miso and facial recognition tech provider PopID.) The collaboration also uses PopID’s tech to allow returning guests to check in at a kiosk using just their face. The menu includes a hamburger, cheeseburger, lettuce wrap, french fries and bottled beverages. While in the past Miso Robotics has piloted Flippy at Jack in the Box and White Castle, it’s struggled to build sizable recurring revenue streams.
Second Sweetgreen’s Infinite Kitchen Opens Tomorrow
Sweetgreen’s automated ambitions keep growing, as the company plans to open its second robot-powered salad and bowl restaurant on Tuesday. Located in the Orange County city of Huntington Beach, the new store is located about 30 miles from the company’s LA HQ. While Sweetgreen plans to eventually automate some of its old locations, this is a new build where the robotics occupy about 150 square feet of back of house space. It, along with a recently opened location in Irvine, also represent the company’s first foray into the OC, the nation’s sixth most populous county.
Cartken, Serve Unveil Reindeer Robots
Delivery robotics startups Cartken and Serve are teaming up with Uber to add some holiday cheer. Cartken is dressing up its sidewalk bots to look like reindeer in Miami and Fairfax, VA; Serve is doing so as well in Los Angeles. “In our partnership with Uber Eats, we’re always looking for fun and creative ways to delight customers, and familiarize them with autonomous robot technology. The holiday season presented an excellent opportunity to spread joy and get people excited about the new service. With our rapid expansion in major metro areas such as Miami and Fairfax, VA, establishing timely and relevant connections with customers is pivotal to our sustained success,” said Cartken Co-Founder Anjali Jindal Naik.
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Starship Celebrates 2023
Not to be outdone, Starship Robotics is celebrating the close of 2023 with a few feathers in its cap. This year, the company’s robots completed 16,115,708 road crossings; since 2018 it’s driven a cumulative 7,152,888 miles. The company also noted that one bot managed to complete 16 deliveries in 24 hours, with zero human intervention — a new record for L5 autonomy. The company also launched with third party delivery provider Bolt, expand is partnership with S-Group, and grew its U.S. campus partnership with Grubhub by 2,217%.
Reliable Robotics Completes Human-Free FedEx Flight
We cover drone delivery a lot here at OttOmate, but what about when you need to move something bigger than a single hamburger? Mountain View, CA-based Reliable Robotics just moved that a lot closer to reality, as it flew a FedEx Cessna 208B Grand Caravan cargo plane for 12 minutes, without pilot intervention. The company hopes the demonstration will help it get FAA approval for continued operations within the next two years.
In Other News
The last fully animatronic Chuck-E-Cheese band plays on, in Los Angeles (naturally.) How Zume was doomed. Automated pizzeria machine PizzaForno heads to Mexico. TuSimple closes down U.S. ops after failing to find buyer. Grocery shoppers look to pinch pennies. McDonald’s expands geofencing pilot. Europe’s delivery stocks stuck in a rut. Amazon Prime reintroduces unlimited delivery, for $9.99/mo. Kodiak Robotics debuts autonomous pickup truck. Rodeo reinvents gig work in the U.K. Cibotica rolls out automated salad and bowl makeline.