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. Food lockers to help address food insecurity discretely at Pitt
New food lockers implemented by Chartwells Higher Ed at the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) will make grocery and meal delivery more convenient while also helping address food insecurity by providing a discreet and efficient way for food-insecure students to access meals. The initiative is partially funded by a $60,000 PA Hunger-Free Campus grant, submitted in partnership with Student Affairs, and is designated to expand access to food options, create awareness and upgrade facilities.
2. Food delivery firm gets FAA okay to expand drone operations
Food delivery firm Flytrex has announced that longtime partner Causey Aviation Unmanned (CAU) has received an exemption from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to remotely fly drones Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) without visual observers. Flytrex says this is the first time such approval has been extended to an exclusively food delivery service, setting the stage for mass scaling of CAU and Flytrex's operations throughout the US.
3. Knoxville puts temporary halt on food delivery robot deployment
Food delivery robots are all over the University of Tennessee (UT) campus in Knoxville but the City of Knoxville wants to make sure that they have the proper guidelines in place before they can operate in other areas of the city as the City Council has approved a motion for a six-month moratorium that prevents PDD (Personal Delivery Device) companies from starting operations until a City PDD policy is developed and adopted. The moratorium will not affect the operations of the robots on UT’s campus
4. Ford to test drone delivery out of abandoned train station
Detroit’s Michigan Central Station, a once beautiful but now abandoned train station that Ford is rehabilitating into an innovation and technology hub, is about to be swarmed by drones. The Ford subsidiary that operates the train station, Michigan Central, has announced that it’s teaming up with the state’s Department of Transportation to test out the use of unmanned aircraft systems (drones) to deliver medicine, food, and other small items to nearby residents
5. Halloween in the modern age—candy deliveries by drone
European automation firm Manna Drone Delivery entered the U.S. market on Halloween with a very timely stunt—delivering candy to families in North Texas by drone, allowing trick-or-treating kids in the Dallas/Fort Worth area to stay dry amidst some very wet Halloween weather. Going forward, Manna will be delivering to a range of food and beverages from both national and local retailers to residents at Pecan Square by Hillwood Communities in that market.
Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]