Food Robot Roundup – Delivery Robots & Robotic Food Assembly

delivery robot Coco

Delivery Robot Roundup

Noted on TheSpoon – for more information email [email protected]

In Brief

  • Coco expanding from California to Austin, TX
  • Coco makes a four-wheeled, cooler-sized robot that delivers food and beverages.
  • Kiwibot — currently has 200 robots operating in 10 campuses. On track to expand to 1200 robots and 50 locations by the end of 2022.
  • Jamba and Blendid have expanded their reach to two more college campuses, Georgia College and Kennesaw State University.
  • Hyphen back-of-house food assembly — focus is taking orders and combining ingredients. It generates 350+ meals per hour.
  • Yum China — has installed touch screen panels to automate the ordering process and has installed robots in its KFC to serve soft-serve ice cream in several Chinese cities. Installed digital lockers store takeout orders in other locations.
  • From Restaurant Dive — Kiwibot signed a $20 million contract expansion with  Sodexo. “The partnership will bring over 1,2000 Kiwibot delivery to 50 U.S. college campuses by the end of this year” — we think they meant 1200

Excerpt from TheSpoon

It’s been a busy few weeks for restaurant robots. In this edition of the food robot roundup, we’ve got updates on the expanding map for a couple of food delivery bots, Jamba & Blendid’s growing relationship, Yum China’s increasing reliance on robots, and more.

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UK Shop and Go Automated Store – Just Walk Out — Tesco, Sainsburys Aldi UK Review

aldi shop and go

UK Shop and Go Automated Store

Ian Scott did a very nice walk-thru of the main “Walk In & Walk-Out” prototypes in the UK. If you have any questions or would like contact info for Ian send an email to [email protected]About Ian Scott — Rethink Retail Top 100 Influencer, Understanding the shifting retail landscape, delivering actionable solutions with global shopper marketing insights and a customer centric perspective.

The walk-thru has observations from the typical shopper and also illustrates some of the nuances. For example his daughter who was with him underwent age verification at Aldi’s however since they entered the store as a group, there was no way to do age verification for the group entity.

Here is intro:

When Amazon first launched their Just Walk Out technology, in the form of an Amazon Go store in 2018, they started a rapid development in retail check out technology services. Since that first convenience store opened in the US, Amazon has evolved the offer, opened in the UK and trialled larger store formats.

Likewise, other tech companies and retailers have watched, observed and invested in similar offerings. London has become the global test bed, with Tesco, Sainsbury’s and most recently, Aldi all offering Just Walk Out stores.

So I spent a day in London, visiting all four brands, to test out their sign up, shopping and store environments to compare them.

Let’s see what I found…

UK shop and go comparison

shop and go comparison – click for full size

walk in walk out ian 1645447534002-compressed

More Posts To Read on Shop and Go

Checkout Free – Grabango and MAPCO

checkout free Grabango


Checkout Free Technology News

From ZDNet

In Brief

  • 340 Convenience Stores
  • Grabango has five markets and is trying to be the undisputed leader
  • California Based
  • One adjustment is that in the East people wear hat and jacket and then remove them. Required tweaking the AI


Five years after launching its first proof-of-concept, the checkout-free technology startup Grabango is rolling out into its fifth metro region, the company said Tuesday.

Its latest partnership is with MAPCO, the convenience store chain with nearly 340 stores throughout the Southeastern region. For now, MAPCO plans to implement checkout-free services in two Tennessee stores by this fall. The rollout will mark the first time Nashville shoppers get access to checkout-free tech — a shopping innovation largely associated with Amazon’s cashierless stores.

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CES: Welcome to our Food Robot Future (Video)

food robot

From The Spoon

Last month, The Spoon got on the technology industry’s biggest stage to talk about the state of food robotics with leaders building food robot companies for the restaurant, retail, agriculture and food service.

Panelists on the first-ever food robot panel at CES include Clayton Wood (Picnic), Suma Reddy (Future Acres), Andy Lin (Yokai Express), Juan Higueros (Bear Robotics) and yours truly as moderator.

During the conversation, we discussed business models, the evolution of technologies, policy and much more.

You can watch the full session entitled Welcome to our Food Robot Future below.


Autonomous Delivery Robot Climbs Stairs

delivery robots

From BusinessInsider Feb 7, 2022


In a few years, it will probably be pretty ordinary to see robots delivering packages and transporting goods in cities.

Delivery companies are always on the lookout for the next big innovation in the sector.

In the US, companies like Starship Technologies have seen huge growth as a result of the pandemic, and others like Coco are also scaling quickly.

Some big names have also developed their own autonomous delivery robots, like Alibaba, whose robots are becoming ever more prominent in daily life in China.

Many companies have already launched their first prototypes, but the robots developed by the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) and CARNET have a standout feature — they’re able to go up and down stairs, according to the press release.

Text From Press Release

The objective of the ADD project is to analyze how autonomous delivery devices can improve the urban distribution of goods as a whole, quantify the potential impacts and test them in real city environments. The distribution of products in metropolitan areas has increased in recent years in absolute values, frequencies and quality requirements.

In the future, the growth of e-commerce and the new characteristics of supply chains (just in time, zero stock, delivery in increasingly tight time slots) will also put even more pressure on the physical distribution of goods in busy urban areas.

From the perspective of the city, the urban distribution of goods generates several negative effects, worsening the habitability of urban areas in terms of congestion, air quality, noise nuisance, public land use and pavement deterioration. Episodes of urban congestion, the scarcity of parking spaces for loading/unloading commercial vehicles and local regulations mean that the management of urban distribution of goods has a very high cost for logistics companies. It is estimated that the costs of the last mile (the last leg of the supply chain between the distribution center and the final customer) represent up to 40% of the total transport costs or more than 20% of the pollution in cities . The deployment of autonomous vehicles would entail a significant reallocation of carrier costs and would make the service more economical and efficient than with conventional vehicles. In fact, these vehicles can work at low hours or even at night, when there is less congestion. In this sense, many companies are already introducing autonomous delivery robots (ADD) to the market with the aim of reducing operating costs.

Although some autonomous delivery services are being tested in public environments, these initiatives are clearly in the minority and most of the pilots are currently deployed in controlled environments. In this context, the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya BarcelonaTech (UPC) and CARNET –the future mobility research hub, coordinated by the Center for Innovation and Technology (CIT-UPC), have designed and manufactured an appropriate ADD prototype to move in urban environments. CARNET, founded by the University, VW Group Research and SEAT in 2014, has fifteen industrial partners.

The ADD prototype, designed under the coordination of CARNET, was presented for the first time on December 16, at a meeting of industrial partners that took place in the UPC rectorate. The autonomous vehicle travels at a maximum speed of 20 km/h, measures 170 cm x 110 cm x 100 cm, has six wheels and can go up or down steps up to 20 cm high. The ADD project began in 2017 with the ‘Logistic Service’ study, developed by the Higher Technical School of Engineering of Roads, Canals and Ports of Barcelona (ETSECCPB) of the UPC, where the logistics service with ADD was conceptualized, the needs of the vehicle and the potentialities and impacts of autonomous robots were analyzed. In 2019, different studies were carried out on the second uses that these vehicles can have. It was concluded that the ADD, in addition to the distribution tasks, could analyze the quality of the pavement or the air thanks to the data that comes from the vehicle’s sensors, together with a computer vision algorithm.

Standards – 2D Barcode Replacing UPC EAN Code

Barcode 2D

Supermarket News

Supply-chain standards organization GS1 US has released a Barcode Capabilities Test Kit to help retailers gauge their readiness to shift from linear Universal Product Codes (UPCs) to data-rich 2D barcodes on product packaging by 2027.

Ewing, N.J.-based GS1 US said the Barcode Capabilities Test Kit evaluates a retailer’s ability to scan and process 2D barcodes at point of sale (POS) as well as to support stocking and receiving functions in warehouses and distribution centers. The program is part of a migration plan for phasing out UPCs and implementing 2D barcodes, dubbed “Sunrise 2027 — A New Dimension in Barcodes,” that will steer brands through labeling transitions and help ensure the reliability of 2D barcode scanning.

Read more at Supermarket News

Touchless Kiosk – KIOSK & UST Partner

touchless kiosk

From KIOSK website Jan 18

Editors Note — Same technology sans Lidar being used in the Nourish + Bloom Autonomous Grocery. See article on Automated Retail

Touchless Checkout News

LOUISVILLE, Colo. (BUSINESS WIRE) – UST, a leading digital transformation solutions company, has partnered with KIOSK Information Systems (KIOSK) to create a highly innovative self-service Retail AI Vision Checkout platform. The edge compute infrastructure provides consumers with autonomous 24 X 7 operational store access. The touchless checkout solution includes both voice and gesture-based UI checkout interaction alternatives, combined with flexible payment options (QR code-based payments, app wallets, contactless cards, or cash). The solution will be demonstrated in KIOSK’s booth, #5919, and featured as part of the NRF Artificial Intelligence (AI), Data Integration & Personalization Tour.

UST is essentially targeting micro markets, convenience stores, coffee shops and cafeterias with UST Vision Checkout. It’s exceptionally timely and relevant to retailers and their customer base due to our current operating constraints

Keith Pickens, Retail Domain Leader and General Manager – Retail, UST

Subhodip Bandyopadhyay, General Manager- Emerging Technology Solutions, UST, commented “Vision Checkout is part of our overall portfolio of Frictionless Solutions; we know one size does not fit all, hence we are the first to introduce HYBRID Autonomous Store where part of the store is fully autonomous, and part of the store (large assortment) is handled through UST Vision Checkout. The benefit we bring with this technology is the capability to efficiently build a store chain database of vision checkout, which can then be deployed to multiple locations simultaneously. The Vision Checkout solution is an out-of-the-box platform. The store’s SKU listings are trained using UST Product Box. Edge-tuned AI engines can detect objects with less than three second transaction times. It provides customers a simple, intelligent, and autonomous self-checkout experience utilizing cutting edge technologies including touchless UI on a reliable digital kiosk. By implementing UST Vision Checkout, customers can experience positive ROI from day one.”

UST Vision Checkout is built in partnership with Intel and hosted in Microsoft Azure Cloud.

Since early 2020, retailers have been sorting through new ways to conduct business during a relentless global pandemic. KIOSK President Kim Kenney added, “As North America’s leader in custom self-service innovation, we’re proud to be a key partner in this effort to bring a truly re-imagined customer self-checkout experience to market. This platform merges UST’s advanced AI vision checkout software with the Intel® Movidius™ Vision Processing Units hardware technology. With KIOSK’s expertise in custom design and IoT remote monitoring of field performance capability, the solution truly marries the best of technology to provide a reliable and scalable solution with compelling and differentiated ways to meet today’s consumer challenges.”

See the Vision Checkout Demonstration at KIOSK Booth 5919, or visit [email protected].

About KIOSK: KIOSK helps organizations digitally transform by enabling automation with self-service solutions to improve the customer experience, while increasing operational and cost efficiencies. With over 27 years of experience and 250,000+ kiosks deployed, KIOSK is the trusted partner of Top 100 Retailers and Fortune 500 clients; delivering proven expertise in design engineering and manufacturing, application development, integration, and comprehensive support services. We offer an innovative portfolio of kiosk solutions along with managed services and IoT capabilities to ensure a seamless user experience. Learn more at, 800.509.5471.

About UST: For more than 22 years, UST has worked side by side with the world’s best companies to make a real impact through transformation. Powered by technology, inspired by people, and led by our purpose, we partner with our clients from design to operation. We identify their core challenges and craft disruptive solutions that bring their vision to life through our agile approach. With deep domain expertise and a future-proof philosophy, we embed innovation and agility into our clients’ organizations-delivering measurable value and lasting change across industries and worldwide. Together, with over 28,000 employees in 25 countries, we build for boundless impact-touching billions of lives in the process. Visit us at

KIOSK Press Contact:
Cheryl Madeson, 303.661.1648; [email protected]

Media Contacts, UST:
Tinu Cherian Abraham, +1 (949) 415-9857

Neha Misri
[email protected]

Originally released on Business Wire

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Automated Grocery Store – Nourish + Bloom Frictionless

autonomous grocery nourish bloom

Automated Grocery Store News

Feb 2 Supermarket News

Writeup on Nourish + Bloom automated grocery store.  Tagline is Frictionless retailer gets underway with high-tech grocery concept utilizing lidar and delivery robots

In Brief

  • robotic delivery for autonomous grocery store

    robotic delivery for autonomous grocery store — click for image

    Store is 1500 sq feet

  • offers “walk in, walk out” functionality
  • Related is Delhaize article from December 2021
  • over 1,500 SKUs, including produce, meat, baked goods, dairy, center-store groceries, household items and prepared meals.
  • Reduces carbon footprint using local brands
  • Shoppers enter by scanning a QR code from a UST-built mobile app at a turnstile. Items selected are tracked via LiDAR (light detection and ranging) cameras and automatically added to a virtual shopping cart, with the information is sent to a back-end software developed by UST.
  • Robotic vehicles named ‘Nourish’ and ‘Bloom’ provide last-mile delivery of online grocery orders.


UST Vision Checkout is used for large merchandise assortment outside the autonomous store. The self-checkout point-of-sale system employs computer vision to identify products, while voice and gesture artificial intelligence technologies speed checkout for Nourish + Bloom customers, UST said. The POS solution also uses barcode-scanning and touchscreen functionality for specific merchandise sections like age-restricted products, frozen foods, and fruit and vegetables, as well as the Bistro prepared foods section. The UST Product Box tool provides quick onboarding of SKUs requiring computer vision training, and the UST Cold Truth solution brings IoT-based, real-time food temperature measurement at shelf level to foster more efficient operations.

The automated product recognition in Nourish & Bloom Market store is performed by SHEKEL Brainweigh’s Product Aware Technology (PAT), based on IoT load sensors, AI models and machine learning algorithms, UST said. Hitachi Vantara provides the store’s 3D LiDAR technology, which enables monitoring of customers throughout the aisles and linking products to their shopping cart.

Video (uploaded June 2021)


Automated Grocery News Video from NBC Nightly News

Paris baguette Lockers – Testing Climate Controlled Food Lockers from Panasonic

paris baguette lockers

Smart Lockers New

From Bakemag 2/2

smart lockers panasonic

smart lockers panasonic

Panasonic has a new test location for its lockers at


In response to the changing food industry and the rising demand for fast-casual restaurants to meet customers where they are at following the pandemic, Paris Baguette is testing the concept of climate-controlled smart lockers at its Edison, New Jersey location.

With the scan of a QR code, customers can preorder food items from the bakery café and pick them up from designated, chilled or heated lockers at the bakery.

This innovation comes on the heels of Paris Baguette’s announcement of a comprehensive brand redesign. The reimagined approach includes an elevated guest experience through every consumer touchpoint: modern and welcoming café layouts, distinguished brand packaging and an enhanced digital and mobile presence.

Other reports include FastCasual

Resources from Panasonic

Smart Locker Resources

Learn about how Panasonic Smart Food Lockers enable contactless carry-out in 3 easy steps. Download Now. Panasonic Smart Food Lockers 
Hear from Jeffrey Kalt, CEO, CaliBurger; Agnes Sowa, Senior Program Manager, Panasonic and Tim Page, Sales Executive, Panasonic about new self-service restaurant innovations, like Smart Lockers for Food Service, in the time of the Coronavirus. View Webinar. IFBTA & Panasonic Webinar: Self-Service Restaurant Innovations in the Time of Coronavirus 
On the latest episode of The Big REthink, Agnes Sowa, Senior Program Manager at Panasonic Digital Solutions Center, joins host Barry Ross to discuss how some restaurants have adapted despite massive changes to how they do business.  Listen Now. How Restaurants Are Meeting the Challenges of a Market Transformed 
Learn how you can empower your customers with a dedicated solution for the fast growing off premise dining segment with pick up technology to complement their ordering experience.  Learn More. Smart Locker Advantages

More Food Locker and Smart Locker Posts

Cashless Digital Only Sustainable Restaurant Prototype by Wingstop

wingstop digital signage

Cashless Restaurant News

Editors Note: More on Wingstop but this time digital signage in the UK. Wing Stop Rolls Out Smart Digital Menu Displays Across Growing UK Footprint — It now seems odd to see a QSR chain that is NOT using digital menu boards and other displays in their stores and in drive-thrus, but a deployment of screens across the UK estate of a wings and fries chain is interesting on a couple of counts. Wingstop UK

From NRN

Nice slideshow showing different aspects in the NRN article – recommended,

In Brief

  • Testing laboratory
  • Cashless
  • Digital Only Transactions
  • Orders are taken either via Wingstop’s smart phone app or, if in store, through a quick-response, or QR, code menu used by the customer
  • Sustainability — Energy Star equipment, the grease extraction and team members debuting the brand’s new line of sustainable uniforms, which are manufactured from recycled water bottles.
  • Wingstop has 1,673 locations globally



“The prototype location ‘Restaurant of the Future’ modularity is key,” said Marisa Carona, Wingstop’s chief growth officer, in an interview at the locations. “We seek to be agile. We can shift components, add new equipment, testing platforms and products in a very quick, flexible fashion.”

Covering about 1,300 square feet and offering no tables (but three bench-style seats for waiting) , the delivery/carryout location also is testing a new kitchen display system, or KDS, that was imported after use in some of its United Kingdom units, Carona said. Typical Wingstop locations cover about 1,700 square feet.