Food, Beverage & Tobacco


LG to develop robots for restaurants

ZDNet

LG Electronics has partnered up with CJ Foodville to develop robots that will be trialled in the latter's restaurants, the companies have announced. CJ Foodville is one of South Korea's largest food service companies, and is the parent company to popular franchises such as Twosome Place and Tous Les Jours. The coffee chain Twosome Place currently has over 1,000 stores located in South Korea. No specifics regarding the robots' functions have been provided by the companies as of yet. The push into the robotics space follows LG forming a new division for robotics and autonomous vehicles, which occurred during the company's 2018 year-end reshuffle.


iFood Invests in Artificial Intelligence The Rio Times

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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – iFood is planning to invest US$20 million in opening an AI learning center to strengthen ties with the tech industry. With an expected staff of 100 people by the end of the year, everything from machine learning, deep learning, behavioral science, and logistics will be covered. All of this is part of iFood's US$500 million funding round that began last year. São Paulo-based iFood is one of Latin America's biggest and most successful startup food delivery company. Seeing how the international food delivery ecosystem is worth around US$94 billion, it's easy to understand why iFood takes digital innovations so seriously.


Amazon Go, CafeX show a future of retail automation

ZDNet

CVS became one of the first national retailers to experiment with self-checkout as a primary means of handling payment and bagging in stores. But the heavily guided process was error-prone and frustrating. By 2015, the drugstore retreated from the initiative, but it still offers a tweaked version of the stations in many stores. Costco had also removed self-checkout from its stores, although it began experimenting with it again in 2017. Nowadays, retailers ranging from major supermarkets to The Home Depot continue to offer self-checkouts, but there is often a store staffer nearby to assist with the inevitable glitch -- a product that won't scan, a coupon that won't activate, an exhortation to bag an item that has already been bagged.


BrainCorp brings its autonomous robot tech to your local supermarket

Engadget

We often frame new automation technology as a grave and immediate threat to the jobs and livelihoods of the humans whose tasks the machines take over. Tell that to the custodians at Sea-Tac airport who no longer have to spend their nights scrubbing floors, or sales associates at your local supermarket who will no longer have to schlep carts full of products throughout the store thanks to BrainCorps' smart scrubbers and tugs. BrainCorp is an AI software developer based in San Diego, California. Founded in 2009, the company spent half a decade developing its computer vision and automation technology before pivoting into the floor care industry. This service sector "hadn't seen a lot of automation yet or at least successful automation of the products," John Black, Brain Corp's Senior Vice President of New Product Development, told Engadget.


The Fascinating Ways PepsiCo Uses Artificial Intelligence And Machine Learning To Deliver Success

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One business who realized that using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning is a business need, no longer a competitive advantage is PepsiCo. The food-and-beverage company behind brands such as Pepsi, Gatorade, Tropicana, Lipton, Frito-Lay, and Quaker sells products in more than 200 countries and brought in $64.7 billion in annual revenue last year. From robots to machine learning, PepsiCo uses AI and machine learning throughout the organization in many ways. There's a six-wheeled mobile vending machine robot tooling around the University of the Pacific chockful of PepsiCo snacks and beverages from Hello Goodness--a healthier line-up that includes SunChips, Baked Lay's and bubly sparkling water. Named Snackbot, these self-driving robots are a partnership between Robby Technologies and PepsiCo.


The Age of Robot Farmers

The New Yorker

It was a hot February morning at Wish Farms, a large strawberry-growing operation outside Plant City, Florida. Gary Wishnatzki, the proprietor, met me at one of the farm offices. In the high season, Wish Farms picks, chills, and ships some twenty million berries--all handpicked by a seasonal workforce of six hundred and fifty farm laborers. Wishnatzki is a genial sixty-three-year-old third-generation berry man, who wears a white goatee and speaks softly, with a Southern drawl. His grandfather Harris Wishnatzki was a penniless Russian immigrant who started out peddling fruits and vegetables from a pushcart in New York's Washington Street Market in 1904.


College Campus Tries Out Robot Delivery

NPR

Delivery robots have been popping up in high-end hotels. Now they are making their way to a younger clientele. PATRICK MADDEN, BYLINE: George Mason University looks like any other big college campus - tall buildings, dorms, green grass and wide sidewalks where streams of students make their way to classes, except here on this campus, there's something not so ordinary - robots. MADDEN: This is one of several dozen Starship food delivery robots here on campus. Picture a cooler on wheels that resembles R2-D2, if you're a "Star Wars" fan.


McDonald's buys AI tech company

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McDonald's is buying an artificial intelligence start-up to help serve up data-driven meal choices. The technology developed by Israeli start-up Dynamic Yield can automatically change menus depending on the weather, time of day and traffic. McDonald's is reported to be paying $300m (£227m) for the tech firm. Number-plate recognition would also allow it to offer customers at drive-throughs their usual food order, McDonald's told Wired. Dynamic Yield's technology would allow AI to determine what products are promoted, for example automatically suggesting McFlurry ice cream on hot days, or telling customers which items are already proving popular at that particular restaurant that day.


McDonald's to customize its drive-throughs with AI

Mashable

Going on a late night McDonald's food run may be a lot different in the future. McDonald's has purchased Dynamic Yield Ltd., an Israeli artificial intelligence company. McDonald's said it plans to use Dynamic Yield's technology to change the drive-through experience. As long as they don't mess with our McGriddles it should be cool though.


McDonald's purchases machine-learning company to help bolster sales via adaptive menus and more

Daily Mail

McDonald's is looking to supercharge sales by using A.I. backed software capable of tailoring products to customers in real-time. America's most iconic fast food chain announced that it has acquired an Israeli company, Dynamic Yield, whose software will use machine-learning to adapt digital menus to feature products based on time, location, preference, demand and more. The Wall Street Journal reported that McDonald's deal to purchase Dynamic Yield was closed at $300 million but neither company has confirmed. McDonald's has revamped its image across the world by deploying a mobile app, renovating stores, and now buying a tech company to help personalize menu items. McDonald's purchase Israeli company, Dynamic Yield which employs data and analytics to increase sales.