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7Eleven-Nuro_autonomous_vehicle_delivery.jpeg 7-Eleven
Convenience store giant 7-Eleven plans to test online order delivery in Mountain View, Calif. using the self-driving Toyota Prius car from local robotics/AI firm Nuro.

5 tech things: 7-Eleven to pilot delivery via robotics-powered vehicles

This and Ohio State expanding its robot meal delivery fleet are some of the tech-related developments you may have missed recently.

In this special edition of its 5 Things series, Food Management highlights five recent technology-related developments affecting the foodservice world.

Here’s your list for today:

  1. 7-Eleven to pilot delivery via robotics-powered vehicles

Convenience store giant 7-Eleven plans to test online order delivery in Mountain View, Calif. using the self-driving Toyota Prius car from local robotics/AI firm Nuro, initially with a human operator for supervision but later using Nuro’s R2 unmanned vehicle. Through the pilot program, customers will be able to place orders through 7-Eleven's 7NOW delivery app and have their products delivered by the bot-powered vehicles.

Read more: 7-Eleven to pilot delivery via robotics-powered vehicles

  1. Ohio State to double robot fleet

Ohio State University plans to double the number of food delivery robots it operates from 50 to 100 in order to facilitate quicker deliveries. Currently, dining locations have to set aside some employees to make deliveries at peak times, when they are most needed at the location.

Read more: Food Robot Program Expands for Quicker Delivery Times

  1. Just Walk Out technology prompts privacy concern backlash

Amazon has made a splash at sports and entertainment venues with its Just Walk Out frictionless retail outlets, but the use of its palm scanning technology at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado has garnered backlash, with more than 200 artists, including Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine, Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill and Sean Ono Lennon, along with more than two dozen organizations, signing on to a letter urging ticketing outfit Axs and its parent company AEG Worldwide to abandon the use of Amazon One palm scanning due to concerns over privacy and surveillance implications. If this concern spreads, it could impact other venues where this kind of cutting edge technology is being implemented. For example, Amazon One recently debuted at new NHL arenas in Seattle and New York this fall as part of Delaware North Sportservice’s concessions operation.

Read more: Palm Scanners Have Some Up in Arms

  1. Sodexo deal enhances its IoT capabilities

Sodexo has signed a global partnership with myDevices, the Internet of Things (IoT) division of global technology firm Claranova, that it says will enable it to quickly deploy a wide variety of sensor solutions to its end user customers as myDevices allows managed services providers and other users to quickly deploy hundreds of IoT sensor solutions into any industry vertical, including hospitality and food services.

“Sodexo provides services to a wide range of customers that require occupancy sensors, automated people counting, electric sub-metering, temperature monitoring, asset condition monitoring, air quality monitoring, asset tracking and many other sensor solutions,” says William Keys MSM, Sodexo's director of FM Technology Development and Innovation. “Through a single integration with myDevices, Sodexo can now easily procure hardware from hundreds of manufacturers, alongside its own in-house occupancy solutions provided by WX Solutions, deploy pre-provisioned solutions, and consolidate normalized sensor data into our back-end platforms to gather insights, improve workflows, generate work tickets and increase overall customer satisfaction.”

Read more: Claranova: Sodexo Accelerates Global IoT Deployments in Partnership With myDevices

  1. Contactless store debuts in JFK Airport terminal

JFKIAT, the operator of Terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, has teamed with FM Top 50 firm SSP America and retail technology firm Zippin to launch a contactless, frictionless retail concept leveraging artificial intelligence technology, the first of Zippin's locations in an air terminal. Zippin's technology for the Camden Food Express in Terminal 4 offers an entirely contactless shopping experience in which customers tap their credit card when they enter through a turnstile, then select items off shelves and get charged for what they leave with.

Read more: NY airport teams with Zippin, SSP America to introduce contactless shopping

Bonus: Penn Medicine’s new Pavilion offers the latest in healthcare retail and patient dining

Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]

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