By Joe Guszkowski
Delivery robots gain traction. Pedestrians on both coasts might be sharing the sidewalk with more robots soon as the autonomous couriers make inroads.
In Miami, ghost kitchen company Reef said last week it is working with robotics startup Cartken to provide delivery from Reef’s network of parking lot-based hubs. Cartken’s electric-powered, six-wheeled rovers are now covering a ¾-mile radius around the city’s downtown, with more locations to come.
Reef hopes the bots will help ease bottlenecks amid heavy demand for delivery.
Meanwhile, food delivery aggregator MealMe is testing semi-autonomous Kiwibots to fulfill orders in Los Angeles. So far, two restaurants had signed up to use Kiwibots, according to Dot.LA. The robotics company also has partnerships with Ordermark and Shopify in San Jose.
Autonomous delivery offers a lot of intriguing benefits. It could help bring down delivery costs as well as reduce emissions and traffic congestion.
And both restaurants and delivery companies have been signaling that there’s a real future for the technology. Chipotle last month invested in self-driving delivery company Nuro, while Uber invested in Serve Robotics after spinning it off from Postmates. Serve bots are currently being tested in LA.
Speaking of robots …Piestro’s pizza-making bot is now allowing customers to pay with their face.
The company has partnered with PopID, a facial recognition payment company, to allow PopID users to scan their face to pay for pizzas either at the Piestro machine or within its app.
The partnership promises a completely contactless experience in which a person could order a pizza without interacting with anyone or touching anything.
“We want our customers to experience our deliciously crafted pizzas as quickly as possible, without sacrificing the quality of the product or their health and safety,” said Piestro CEO Massimo De Marco in a statement[…]
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