Vending machines are getting smarter with machine learning and facial recognition


We're living in an era of extraordinary technological change. From smartphones to drones, the evidence is in our pockets, in the sky, at the office, and in the streets. The pace of technological evolution, though, can be even harder to keep up with than the Kardashians. When asked to think about cutting-edge tech, I'll be the first to admit that vending machines aren't the first innovation to come to mind. However, the technology behind today's most advanced vending machines is some of the most disruptive in the book.

RoboBusiness 2017: What's cooking in robotics?


"We realized we could automate more of the unsafe repetitive tasks of operating a kitchen using flexible, dynamic robots," explains Collins, who currently employees over 50 human workers that do everything from software engineering to supervising the robots to delivering the pizza. "The humans that work at Zume are making dough from scratch, working with farmers to source products, recipe development--more collaborative, creative human tasks. Serenti Kitchen in San Francisco plans to bring the Keurig pod revolution to food with its proprietary machine that includes prepared culinary recipe pods that are dropped into a bowl and whipped to perfection by a robotic arm (see above). Chen's observations are shared by many in the IoT and culinary space, as this year's finalists in the Smart Kitchen Summit include more robotic of inventions, such as Crepe Robot that automatically dispense, cook and flavors France's favorite snack and GammaChef, a robotic appliance that promises like Serenti to whip up anything in a bowl.

How Bodega typifies Silicon Valley's cultural ignorance


People who shop at the same Bay Area corner stores that Bodega wants to eliminate, like me, aren't worried about any problem the startup wants to solve. We're fretting about paying rent, affording health insurance, and the extreme gap between Bay Area's rich and poor created by local tech companies that's making the homeless problem a third world nightmare in our streets. In contrast to his brush off about the issue of co-opting "bodega" to Fast Company, McDonald wrote: Regarding the headlines echoing McDonald's quote about Bodega's aim to eliminate the necessity of stores he wrote, "Challenging the urban corner store is not and has never been our goal." Paul McDonald served as a product manager at Google for 13 years.

Fury at 'Bodega' tech startup that aims to put corner shops out of business

The Guardian

A tech startup called Bodega that hopes to replace mom-and-pop shops with unmanned boxes that rely on an app and artificial intelligence is facing a massive backlash from immigrant business owners and skeptics across Silicon Valley. "The vision here is much bigger than the box itself," co-founder Paul McDonald, a former Google product manager, told Fast Company. McDonald told Fast Company he was unveiling 50 new locations on the west coast and plans to spread across the country, with more than a thousand "Bodegas" in place by the end of 2018. Even if Bodega rapidly grows, many shoppers won't want to abandon their local stores, said Trisha Chakrabarti, senior program and policy manager at Mandela MarketPlace, a nonprofit that supports local grocery stores and is based in Oakland, California, where Bodega is headquartered.