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Tesla Restaurant Hits Construction Milestone
Chipotle teases more robots, Nvidia updates Jetson, Faction fundraises
Halloween is a day away, promising a buffet for sugar lovers everywhere. For those of you that would rather digest robotics and automation news, we’ve got some big updates below.
Tesla Restaurant Hits Second Floor
Tesla is known for its quick engineering and manufacturing work, and its approach to building new tech-oriented restaurant seems to be no different from the way the company builds cars: fast, fast, fast. When we broke the news that Tesla had started construction, one month ago, none of that construction was above ground level. Upon stopping by the site last Friday, workers had already poured concrete to the top of the second floor, hosting what appears to be the elevator shaft. We’ll keep you updated as construction progresses.
Chipotle Promises Teases Robotic Progress
Chipotle released its Q3 financial results on the 26th, showing that same-store sales were up 5% and revenue was up 11.3% YoY to $2.5 billion. Addressing an upcoming law in California that increases food wages to $20/hr, company CHO Jack Hartung said “It’s going to be a pretty significant increase to our labor.” While the company stated it would likely pass some of the cost on to consumers in the form of higher prices, it also vindicated the company’s investments in automation. “We still have some iterations to make the Hyphen and Autocado before they are ready to be tested in a restaurant, I am excited about the progress the team is making,” said CEO Brian Niccol.
Nvidia Launches Jetson Updates
Nvidia is enhancing its Jetson Platform — used by companies including Serve Robotics — for edge AI and robotics with significant expansions to two frameworks. The company launched the Jetson Generative AI Lab to provide developers with tools for the latest generative AI models. This is poised to expedite AI application development and edge deployments. Generative AI allows robots to recognize objects not covered during training, while a natural language interface streamlines AI edge management. Developers are provided tools and tutorials via the AI Lab to deploy open-source LLMs, diffusion models, vision language models, and vision transformers, which merge vision AI and natural language processing. Additionally, the company’s TAO Toolkit offers a low-code interface for refining vision AI models. Moreover, its Isaac Robotics platform, used widely across sectors, has released Isaac ROS 2.0 to further advance robotic system creation. The new release offers several enhancements, including support for ROS 2 Humble and integration with Stereolabs ZED camera.
Oregon State Robotic Bomb Scare Ends Peacefully
OSU students were in for a novel scare last Tuesday, when campus security Tweeted at 12:20 PM that there was a “Bomb Threat in Starship food delivery robots.” The school then isolated the robot, before investigating it by a technician. Ultimately, authorities established that the threat was a hoax, and arrested the perpetrator. The emergency ended by 1:30 PM, and the bots were back in service before 4 o’clock.
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TDK Ventures announced it’s leading the latest financing round for Faction, a developer of driverless technology. Faction focuses on practical applications of driverless vehicles, integrating teleoperation technologies to create small-scale delivery vehicles suitable for short urban trips of less than 5 miles. The support from TDK Ventures, along with co-investors Ducera Partners, Trucks Venture Capital, and Fifty Years, will aid Faction in its goal to pave the way for smarter cities and a sustainable future. Ain McKendrick, Faction's Founder and CEO, highlighted the company's vision for sustainable urban transport, saying “It was evident to us from the beginning that the use of large legacy vehicles was not sustainable from an emissions, gridlock, and energy-use perspective for what we envisioned. Our right-sized, driverless vehicles are smart for city use and an affordable solution for the planet.”
In Other News
Serve CEO Ali Kashani shares company’s advertising-focused future, with ads accounting for 50% of revenue; will the company be able to maintain high rates once the vehicles become less novel? Sodexo Q3 revenue rises 12.3% to €23.7 billion ($25.1 billion). Online grocery shopping most popular with Millennials. A recap on last week’s discussion on restaurant technology pricing.