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Grubhub, UArizona cut ties with food-delivery robots made by Russian company

Food delivery robots at the University of Arizona
Posted at 1:04 PM, Mar 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-03 15:16:19-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Robots with Russian ties will no longer deliver food on the UArizona campus.

According to Todd Millay, Executive Director of the University Arizona Student Unions, the organizations stand behind Grubhub's decision to end its partnership with Yandex, the corporation that builds the robots.

"Arizona Student Unions and Arizona Dining stands in support of the recent decision Grubhub made to end their partnership with Yandex. Yandex, a Russian multi-national corporation, was the hardware provider for Arizona Dining’s robot courier delivery service recently launched on campus. As of March 3, 2022, Yandex robots will no longer operate on the University of Arizona campus," Millay said in a statement. "Students and staff can continue to utilize Gruhub pickup and delivery services as usual, and human couriers will fulfill Grubhub delivery orders until a new robot courier delivery solution is in place."

The robots, created by the company Yandex Self-Driving Group, launched in November and allowed students are able to order IQ Fresh, Einstein Bagels, On Deck Deli and Sabor.

A Grubhub released this statement to KGUN 9:

“We will be ending our partnership with Yandex. We take seriously our commitment to the universities that we partner with – and ultimately the student diners who order from the Grubhub platform – to make food ordering and delivery available on campus. We’re working with our campus partners on alternate service options as we shift away from Yandex over time.”

Phil Villarreal is the senior real-time editor for KGUN 9. He is also a digital producer and host of "Phil on Film" seen weekly on Good Morning Tucson, Phil moved to KGUN after 17 years with the Arizona Daily Star. He is married and has four children. Share your story ideas and important issues with Phil by emailing or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.