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:
- Robots to return to Ohio State this fall
Food delivery robots using units from technology startup Cartken will return to Ohio State’s campus this fall after halting the use in early March of food rovers produced by Russian-owned firm Yandex following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The 40 new robots will roll out in partnership with mobile order firm Grubhub and will operate similarly to last year, delivering from five dining campus locations to residence halls and other select campus buildings.
- Amazon Prime getting ready to make drone deliveries
Amazon customers in Lockeford, Calif. will be among the first to receive Prime Air drone deliveries in the U.S. as the company is working with the Federal Aviation Administration and local officials to obtain permission to conduct the service. Once onboarded, customers in will see Prime Air-eligible items on Amazon and will then place an order as they normally would and receive an estimated arrival time with a status tracker for their order. The drone will then fly to the designated delivery location, descend to a safe height in the customer’s backyard and safely release the package before rising back up to altitude.
- Hospital adds robot delivery, eyes drones as next step
Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse, N.Y. plans to use a fleet of 14 Aethon TUG robots o transport items such as medicine and meals around the hospital after determining more than a year ago that “the state of the technology and the challenges that Covid presented to its supply chain, along with staff shortages on the horizon” made the move necessary. “The possibilities are endless and only bound by what can be safely transported,” Steve Roberts, director of autonomous machines at Upstate, said. “Even now, we are thinking about how best to integrate these robots with drones. As our nationally recognized drone program continues to evolve, this handoff will become essential to supporting the transport needs of our remote sites.”
- Texas Walmart to serve as ghost kitchen host site
Canadian company Ghost Kitchen Brands and Dallas-Fort Worth restaurateurs Mohammad Qasim and Joon Choe plan to use a Walmart in Plano, Texas as a pick-up spot for delivery drivers and as a grab ‘n go lunch or dinner stop for shoppers. “If you walk into the Walmart, where you used to see a McDonald’s or a Burger King or a Subway, you will now see a restaurant, Ghost Kitchen Brands,” Qasim explained. “You’ll have a touch screen where you’ll walk in and place your order through our proprietary technology. You can go do your shopping and on the way back you can pick up your to-go order.”
- Amazon Just Walk Out powered store opens at Nashville Airport
Retail firm Hudson, which has more than a thousand traditional stores in airports, commuter hubs, landmarks and tourist destinations across North America, has announced that its first Southeast location for Hudson Nonstop, powered by Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology, is officially open at Nashville International Airport, where travelers can enter by swiping their credit card or hovering their palm over an Amazon One biometric device. “We are continuing to see strong momentum with the growth of our grab and go business,” said Evan Schut, SVP of Food & Beverage of Hudson. “This new Hudson Nonstop format is designed to make it easier than ever for travelers to get the best food and beverage products, while still providing them with the same quick and frictionless experience that Hudson Nonstop is known for.”
Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]