Food / Beverage

ABB ASTI Mobile400x275ABB has announced it will acquire ASTI Mobile Robotics Group, a global provider of autonomous mobile robots (AMRs). The acquisition will expand ABB’s robotics and automation offerings, giving it a complete portfolio for the next generation of flexible automation, the company said in a statement. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed, but the deal is expected to close in mid-summer 2021.

 

SoftRoboticsChicken400x275Soft Robotics, which develops AI-powered automated picking solutions through modular soft robotic gripping technology, has announced raising $10 million in a Series B extension funding round. The new funding will help expand its commercial operations to meet COVID-19 pandemic-fueled demand, as well as go to the launch of its SoftAI-powered robotic solutions.

 

Botrista 400x275Botrista Technology, a startup that has developed the Botrista DrinkBot, has announced raising $10 million in Series A funding, co-led by Purestone Capital and La Kaffa International. The new funding brings the total amount raised to $16 million, with the new funding to be used to further accelerate deployment operations to roll out the DrinkBot nationally.

 

MisoLancer400x275Miso Robotics, which is developing intelligent automation for the foodservice industry, has announced a partnership with beverage dispenser manufacturer Lancer Worldwide to build an intelligence-packed, automated beverage dispenser that brings enhanced functionality to future-focused commercial kitchens.

 

FANUC A3reportQ12021 400x275Substantial increases in robot orders from the metals sector, pharmaceuticals, food and consumer goods helped drive a 20% increase in North American robot orders during the first quarter of 2021, the Association for Advancing Automation (A3) reported today. The Q1 2021 numbers were also the second-largest quarter ever for non-automotive sector robot sales, as companies recovering from COVID-19 slowdowns realize that robotics and automation can help them recover.

 

MisoRoboticsSW400x275Miso Robotics, which develops intelligent automation solutions for the foodservice industry, has announced a stand-alone software as a service (SaaS) offering, CookRight. The artificial intelligence-powered cooking platform can automatically identify and track products and tasks within a kitchen.

 

NeuralaScan400x275Neurala, which develops AI vision software, has announced a partnership with IHI Logistics & Machinery to increase the effectiveness of optical character recognition (OCR) reading of package information by automatically identifying expiration dates. The goal is to reduce waste and relieve workers from mundane, repetitive tasks, the companies said in a statement.

 

MonarchTractorFounders400x275Monarch Tractor, which is developing a fully electric, driver-optional smart tractor, has announced the first deployment at Wente Vineyards, one of the oldest, continuously operated family winery in the U.S. The company said this is the first of 15 pilot series deployments prior to its production deliveries in Q4 2021 as the company looks to electrify the agricultural industry.

 

AMPRoboticsPET400x275AMP Robotics, which develops artificial intelligence, robotics and infrastructure for the waste industry, has deployed six of its AI-guided robotic sorting systems with Evergreen, one of the nation’s largest recyclers of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles at its Ohio processing facility. Evergreen is a subsidiary of Greenbridge, formerly Polychem, a manufacturer of polyester and polypropylene products serving the food and beverage, consumer packaged goods, and industrial industries since 1974.

 

KrogerOcado400x275The Kroger Co. has launched its first Customer Fulfillment Center (CFC) in the U.S., combining vertical integration, machine learning, and robotics to provide customers with affordable, friendly and fast delivery of fresh food. Powered by Ocado Group, the CFC is located in Monroe, Ohio, a city north of Cincinnati. 

Kiwibot 400x275Kiwibot, a robotic delivery service that has completed more than 150,000 robot deliveries in Santa Monica, Calif., and other locations, has announced the launch of its next-generation Kiwibot 4.0. The company plans to expand deliveries to other cities beginning in May and has partnered with Chick-fil-a to pilot robot deliveries with the fast-food chicken giant.

SoftRoboticsmGrip400x275Soft Robotics has announced the expansion of its mGrip Modular Gripping System with new capabilities and an IP69K rating that enables safe food handling of proteins and dairy products. The company said these new features put more capabilities into the hands of machine builders to design flexible end-of-arm tools that can withstand high-pressure washdown environments.

 

DominosNuro Houston400x275Domino’s Pizza and Nuro have launched autonomous pizza delivery in Houston, the companies said in a statement. Starting this week, select customers in the Woodland Heights area who place a prepaid order through Dominos.com on certain days and times can choose to have their pizza delivered by the Nuro R2 robot.

AutoStoreMFC concept400x275Norwegian robotics technology company AutoStore has announced a partnership with Asian-American specialty grocery chain H Mart, in collaboration with Bastian Solutions, to introduce a fully automated micro-fulfillment center (MFC) to support H Mart’s online grocery operations in Carlstadt, N.J.

NuroVehicle400x275Nuro, which is developing autonomous on-road delivery vehicles, has announced new investors as part of the company’s Series C funding round. Included in the new investors are Woven Capital, a newly established growth-stage fund from Woven Planet, a Toyota subsidiary, and Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc.

Piab CheeseSlices400x275Through the use of suction cups and vacuum generators, Piab and CAMA Group have created a new packaging system that can handle and package 280 pouches of cheese slices per minute. The system allows for the automatic handling of pouches of different formats at high process speeds.