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Friday, January 15, 2021

Campus

‘Sally the Salad Robot’ brings additional contactless food options to campus


Sally the Salad Robot will be added to Student Center South this month, serving salads, yogurt, grain bowls and more. | Christopher Charleston/ The Cougar

Sally the Salad Robot will be added to Student Center South this month, serving salads, yogurt, grain bowls and more. | Christopher Charleston/ The Cougar

This year, UH Dining services is establishing salad-dispensing robots around campus, with the first Sally the Salad Robot premiering in Student Center South on Aug. 24.

This robot is not a typical vending machine, but it will promote contactless, hygienic food services as well as offer some healthy food options. The robot will be serving customizable salads, yogurt bowls and grain bowls at the click of a button.

“This is a unit that houses thirty different ingredients and guests are able to customize their salad, and it dispenses it in a short space of time and it is integrated with Cougar Cash as well as credit and debit card,” said senior director of Retail Dining Services Charles Pereira.

“We are hoping to have three robots on campus, but for now we are testing one out in the student center.”

UH dining originally planned to introduce these robots in hopes of creating healthier food options all around campus beyond dining commons or restaurants.

“Our idea was to put the robots in places that don’t have food services,” said Dining Services vice president of Operations David Riddle.

Some students are also expressing their excitement to try out the robot and drew attention to the caution they are taking as the start of the fall semester approaches.

“This definitely sounds like something I would like to try on campus, because I enjoy eating bowls and salads,” said hospitality sophomore Trang Le.

“Sally the Salad Robot sounds like a good alternative since it’s contactless and I would feel more comfortable knowing that not many people have been near the salad bar.”

On the other hand, some students will not be planning on using this new technology.

“I would not use this robot because I won’t be on campus because of COVID-19, but I would recommend it to my friends that are on campus,” said public relations junior Alisha Rauniyar.

Other students said that they would use this robot regardless of it being contactless, due to it’s convenience. 

“I think that this is convenient but not an alternative,” said biology freshman Esha Patel. “I think that it will be easier for students and faculty to get food on the go.”

For more of The Cougar’s coronavirus coverage, click here.

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