Nala Robotics Debuts Bowl Bot, LG Shows Off Improved CLOi
CAVA IPO, Agility Robotics names new CTO
Before we get to this week’s news roundup, we’d like to invite OttOmate readers to join us on June 6th, for a community meet-up as part of LA Tech Week. We’ll be gathering the best and brightest minds from delivery, mobility, technology, media, and venture capital for happy hour at The Little Friend in Venice Beach, Los Angeles. RSVP now for this complimentary event.
Nala Robotics Debuts Autonomous Sandwich Bot and Bowl Bot
Riding the automated salad buzz of Sweetgreen’s Infine Kitchen launch, Nala Robotics premiered two new robotic solutions at the National Restaurant Association Show. Bowl Bot can choose from 28 ingredients, including grippable sauce bottles, to make salads and bowls in a 10’ by 10’ footprint. Bump that up to a 16 foot by 12 foot area and Sandwich Bot can help restaurateurs slap together sammies from 48 choices of meats, cheeses, and veggies.
LG & Cecilia.AI Shine at NRA Show
Other kitchen automation solutions made themselves known during the first few days of the National Restaurant Association Show. LG has been showing off a new CLOi ServeBot, a Bear Robotics-esque tray serving solution. The latest version of the UL-certified robot includes a 21.5 inch screen, a top speed of 2.7 miles per hour, and an 11-hour runtime. Cecilia.AI continues to turn heads with its robotic bartender, despite the fact that it still sports graphics that look like the whole system runs off an old Nintendo 64. And a number of back-of-house solutions garnered attention for showing that automation can make waves even when its not showy, such as AT&T and Microsoft’s Connected Spaces suite, which can monitor food equipment temperatures even in internet-free environments.
Agility Robotics Names New CTO
Agility Robotics’ warehouse-working robots have garnered significant press attention for just how humanoid they are. Now the Oregon-based company has a new human leader for its media-savvy mechanical army, as Melonee Wise is stepping up to serve as CTO, taking the role from company co-founder Jonathan Hurst. Wise previously ran Fetch Robotics, which she sold to Zebra Technologies for $290 million.
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Wiferion Premieres New Charging System for Smaller AMRs
Germany’s Wiferion announced the newest member of its etaLINK family of charging systems for autonomous mobile robots and autonomous guided vehicles. The etaLINK 1000 is a dainty 170 by 170 millimeters (6.9 x 6.9 inches) and can push up to 42 amps of wireless power.
CAVA IPO and Restaurant365 Raise Buoy FoodTech Fundraising Environment
The fundraising environment for food and restaurant technology startups is looking a bit brighter, with a few big names clearing even larger checks. Irvine-based Restaurant365 raised $135 million in a round led by KKR and L Catterton, with participation from ICONIC Growth and Bessemer Venture Partners. While the company has not fully opened its books, the restaurant management technology provider has confirmed it hit unicorn status (meaning a $1 billion plus valuation) and is doing approximately $100 million in annual sales.
Meanwhile, “Chipotle for mediterranean food” FCR-purveyor Cava filed paperwork for its IPO. The company revealed its trimmed losses to $2.1 million in the most recent quarter, it hopes to hit 1,000 units in the next decade, and its investing in delivery-only locations. For those looking for more foodtech valuation insights, PitchBook just released a comp sheet and valuation guide looking at the entire sector. And in case you missed it, Motional’s Phil Vidal shared with OttOmate how his autonomous delivery startup’s institutional backing means it has the cash reserves to weather any market-related storms.