Refraction AI heads to Georgia with Chick-fil-A
Cartken profitable, 3PD consolidation continues
While we hope our readers are enjoying the Juneteenth holiday, it seems the robots don’t get the day off; there’s a hefty serving of delivery bot news to catch up on.
Chick-fil-A Chooses Refraction AI in Georgia
We haven’t heard much from Refraction AI lately, but evidently they’ve been hard at work expanding on a partnership with chicken purveyor Chick-fil-A. The company’s latest robots are set to roll out in Alpharetta, Georgia — not far from Chick-fil-A headquarters — on July 7th. "When we think of technology, it's never to replace our great team members but to put it in the hands of our great team members," said Chick-Fil-A’s Senior Director for New Ventures, John Featherston. As the company consistently has the highest sales per store of any fast food brand, and has been known to cause delivery driver traffic jams due to high demand, this is a particularly compelling case for getting food orders into smaller vehicles. Also worth noting is that Refraction currently has an open “Account Manager” job listing in Atlanta; the client isn’t specified but we reckon you can read between the breaded lines.
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Cartken Proving Profitable
Another autonomous delivery player is making waves, as Cartken claims that its robotic deliveries are now profitable. CEO Christian Bersch shared that the company’s Level 4 autonomy software — Edge AI — has brought costs down to the point where the company is profitable on a per-delivery basis, with the startup now pushing 25,000 transactions per month. That said, sources close to OttOmate have also shared that select remotely-operated delivery robotics companies are profitable on a per-delivery basis as well, as they’re able to arbitrage lower labor rates in developing countries.
Food Delivery Consolidation Continues
Many food automation startups are able to jumpstart their growth by teaming up with existing software solutions, especially third party delivery platforms. That may get harder as the industry consolidates in search of consistent profitability. On June 15th, Uber Eats announced it was existing the Italian market, where it has lagged behind competitors like Just Eat Takeaway and Glovo. Earlier this year the service pulled out of Brazil, and other brands like Deliveroo have left select markets as well.
In Other News
RobotLAB adds Bear Robotics’ Servi to its stable. Nextbite sells off ordering software arm to India’s UrbanPiper, virtual brand portfolio to C3 by SBE. Arrive’s CEO explains company rebrand. Catch a video replay of Publisher Jonah Bliss chatting with IDDBA about the future of robotics and automation.
OttOmate is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support our work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.