The Bot Brief
"There is no force on earth more powerful than and idea whose time has come."
- Victor Hugo
Bots In the News:
In a weak market the Bot Brief dropped 4%, beating the S & P 500 who fell an even further 5.06%. Even the 20 to 1 stock split by Amazon during the week failed to rescue the company from the rising tide of inflation and consumer confidence that fell to depths noted in the 1980 recession. The stock of the retailer plunged 10.38% to lead the decliners within the Bot Index. Two other components approached double digit declines. iRobot fell 9.68% and NVIDIA declined 9.33%.
Within the Bot Index there was only four gainers and they were all Asian holdings. Hiwin Technologies led the Index with a 5% gain. The other four were Japanese companies and the gains were all less than one-half percentage
The Bot Assault on Hunger:
We were in Houston this week and happened to see a little box rolling down the sidewalk in the West University sector of the city. Written on its side was the word Coco. The box was moving along with blinking lights and a little flag. Curious as to nature of this autonomous little vehicle, we were treated to a TV news report on the little critter that evening. Apparently the Coco is a small delivery robot that is currently working with four restaurants in the city. The article interviewed the proprietress of a popular Asian restaurant. Ling Wang, of Trendy Dumpling indicated that since approximately half of her customers order delivery, this new tool is a great feature for her customers in the heavily trafficked Montrose and Southwest Houston area. Introduced on March 21, the bots use five cameras and GPS to assist in its delivery responsibilities. As drawbacks, however, Coco requires a pilot driver at the home base. Also, the device cannot deliver to local businesses that are in high rises…. the bot has no ability to punch the elevator keys!
Also noted this week was the experimental Taco Bell of the future. In its Brooklyn Park, Minnesota location, a Taco Bell is using automation to increase the customer experience. Looking like a bank drive through, the ordering system has been streamlined so the diner calls in an order, then drives through a lane and scans a bar code and his order is delivered in (what looks like a vacuum tube at a bank. Of course it isn’t a tube but the whole process, from the customers’ point of view, is that there is no human intervention. The company is responding changes in its customer preferences that has noted that over 90% of food purchases is through the take out as opposed to dining in.
Member: American Economic Association, Society of Professional Journalists, United States Press Association. Insti6-2-tute of Chartered Financial Analysts, Robotic Industries Association, Member IEEE.
The Bot Brief is a weekly newsletter designed for economists, investment specialists, journalists, and academicians. It receives no remuneration from any companies that may from time to time be featured in the brief and its commentaries, analysis, opinions, and research represent the subjective view of Balcones Investment Research, LLC. Due to the complex and rapidly changing nature of the subject matter, the company makes no assurances as to the absolute accuracy of material presented.