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Tech news: Food delivery robots roll out at U of I

Students on the University of Idaho (U of I) Moscow campus can now have robots deliver food from several locations as of March 23.

Starship robots will now deliver food at the University of Idaho. Image provided by U of I

U of I is the first university in the state to introduce robot food delivery service with a fleet of 15 autonomous food delivery robots through a partnership with Starship, according to a recent announcement from the university.

Students and employees can use the Starship Food Delivery app to order food and drinks to be delivered anywhere on campus, within minutes. The app allows users to watch the robot’s journey in real time through an interactive map. Once the robot arrives, the user will receive an alert, and they can meet the robot and unlock it through the app. Robots can carry the equivalent of about three shopping bags of groceries, according to the announcement.

Starship is providing services to campuses across the country, including the University of Texas at Dallas, University of Houston, University of Nevada, Reno and Bowling Green State University. Starship stated it plans to hire students to work with the fleet.

“We are very pleased to expand our services to Idaho,” said Ryan Tuohy, senior vice president of business development and sales at Starship Technologies, in a statement. We think the entire campus community will love seeing the robots roaming around campus and appreciate the convenience of on-demand deliveries, whether that means skipping long lines, sleeping in, or getting deliveries for late night studies.”

Little, Woolf unveil new Townhall.Idaho.Gov website

Governor Brad Little and State Controller Brandon Woolf announced on March 22 the new web site today, a new website, Townhall.Idaho.Gov, touted as being an online one-stop-shop for all public meeting information for state executive branch agencies.

On the site, users can search and find information pertaining to public meetings for state agencies and state-affiliated commissions. The goal is eventually to include local government entities’ meeting notices on the site, according to the announcement.

In addition, $2 million in new funding is being considered to enable agencies to stream public meetings online through the Townhall website.

Little also signed a proclamation instructing state executive branch agencies to post meeting notices, agendas and minutes to the website on or after April 15, 2022, the announcement stated. The Townhall Idaho posting requirements do not alter Idaho State Code requirements for physical postings.

SEL to fill 100+ assembler openings

Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL) has announced it is looking to hire more than 100 people to work at its manufacturing operations in Lewiston and Pullman, Washington.

“The assembler position offers a great opportunity for people who like to work with their hands and minds to build products and solutions that make a positive difference in the world,” said Stacey Doty, chief people officer, in a statement. “This event also offers people a great way to get their foot in the door of a great company serving a critical industry!”

With no experience necessary, assemblers receive a starting wage of $18 per hour with full benefits, the announcement stated, including participation in SEL’s employee stock ownership plan. Assemblers receive comprehensive on-the-job training to learn how to accurately assemble, solder, inspect and test products. They work with professionals throughout the company to identify creative methods for building products used by customers around the world.

Senior Assembler Hannah Kolar. Photo courtesy of SEL

“I didn’t know the first thing about electronic assembly when I started at SEL,” Hannah Kolar, a senior assembler who joined the company in June 2021, said in a statement. “I wondered if it might be repetitive, boring or have high complexity. But every day I’m seeing something new and learning something different; I feel challenged at a level that’s reachable, and I have new confidence in my ability to grow and learn.”

While many of the positions are available immediately, there is potential for start dates to occur later, including some to coincide with the spring graduation schedule for local universities and high schools.

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