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Sunday, September 19, 2021

Campus

The Quad among new residence halls to accept Starship deliveries


The Quads, Bayou Oaks and Cougar Place are three new locations now accepting orders from the dining robots. | Kathryn Lenihan/The Cougar

The Quad, Bayou Oaks and Cougar Place are three new locations now accepting orders from the dining robots. | Kathryn Lenihan/The Cougar

With the new addition of The Quad this year, the dining robots have made adjustments to their original route in order to bring food to the new student housing building. 

“(The dining bots) remapped the delivery paths to include The Quads,” said district marketing manager of Chartwells Alexis Mendoza. “(Starship Technologies) has added The Quads into their scope of service area.” 

“I think it is great (that) Starships bots are able to deliver to all on-campus student housing,” said supply chain management senior Dawson Gaudette. “Online classes can make getting food a challenge, so having an option for quick and safe food delivery is crucial for some students.” 

Due to the limited number of students on campus this semester, Starships has seen a reduction in dining robots use and because of this, has lowered the number of bots running around campus. 

 “Starship Technologies has decreased the amount of robots deployed daily,” Mendoza said. “With the significant decrease of on-campus population we have also seen a decrease in orders.” 

Although the decline in robots could possibly mean that students may not get their food as quickly, students such as Gaudette said that due to fewer students, there is less of a demand for robots, meaning it should be easier to keep them clean.

 “I think it is important Starship tracks how many orders are being processed a day to adjust the number of robots accordingly,” Gaudette said.

Regardless of the decrease in used dining robots, the ones still available to assist students and staff are being sanitized as a safety precaution between each order to reduce the risk from each individual.   

“If I knew each robot was cleaned after each delivery I would be more inclined to use the Starship delivery bots,” Gaudette said. “Not knowing how many people have come in contact with the bot that is delivering my food is alarming.” 

The dining robots undergo a thorough cleaning and disinfecting process at the end of each day, along with being cleaned and disinfected before each order is loaded throughout the day, according to Mendoza.

“Having this contactless dining method as part of the UH Dining program is a great perk for our students,” Mendoza said

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