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:
- Russian delivery robots pulled from Ohio State, U. of Arizona
Ohio State University and the University of Arizona are losing their food-delivery robots for now because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as Grubhub says it is ending its partnership with Russian tech company Yandex and pulling 100 Yandex-made food-delivery robots from the campuses. Chicago-based Grubhub said it is working with both schools to find alternatives to the robots that had been doing 1,000 deliveries a day between the two campuses.
- Levy partners with PopID on facial recognition payment
Facial recognition software company PopID is partnering with venue and event management company ASM Global and sports/entertainment venue concessions and catering firm Levy to install its PopPay pay-by-face technology and PopEntry authentication software at venues around the world. The first implementation will be at Pechanga Arena in San Diego, according to Levy.
- A high-tech garden grows in Pittsburgh...and soon, in Columbus too
High-tech vertical farming business Fifth Season is planning to add a second, much larger facility in Columbus, Ohio, to build on its existing 60,000-square foot growing space near Pittsburgh had already supplied some 500,000 pounds of its produce to nearby restaurants and campus dining locations in its first year. Fifth Season’s automated proprietary system grows fresh produce year-round indoors in vertical trays, relying on artificial intelligence, robotics and data to control light, water and nutrients, and harvest leafy greens. “Our smart manufacturing facility improves the yield, taste and texture of the vegetables, and does that with 95% less water, 95% less land, and uses no pesticides or chemicals,” says company founder Austin Webb.
- Gordon Food Service tests salad-making robot
Gordon Food Service, one of the largest regional foodservice distributors in the U.S., is trialing a bowl-making robotic salad station from vendor Dexai Robotics in its test kitchen in Grand Rapids, Mich. that it may eventually deploy in a managed cafeteria or in one of its nearly 200 stores it operates in the U.S. and Canada. The robot, called Alfred, has already been deployed to 10 military bases across the U.S. and Dexai plans to continue developing new robots to handle tasks such as plating food and serving drinks, which could expand the locations the robot finds itself in the future.
- Starship delivery robots come to University of Tennessee
Starship Technologies has deployed 25 robotic food carriers for the spring semester at the University of Tennessee, the latest campus client for the company's high tech delivery units. They deliver food from 13 dining spots on campus between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. to customers who order on the Starship app and can use campus dining dollars to pay for it.
Contact Mike Buzalka at [email protected]