Campus News

Proposed city ordinance will confine food delivery robots to the UW-Madison campus

Starship Robots deliver food from dining halls on campus to various residence halls. 

Starship Robots deliver food from dining halls on campus to various residence halls. 

Image By: Kalli Anderson

A proposed city ordinance will prohibit UW-Madison’s food delivery robots from leaving the campus. 

The Transportation Policy and Planning Board unanimously voted Monday to recommend this ordinance to the Madison Common Council. 

The purpose of the proposed ordinance is to prevent other companies from implementing robots in Madison and crowding sidewalks, according to assistant city attorney Amber McReynolds. 

The university implemented the use of Starship Robots in early November to deliver food from the dining halls to various residence halls. So far there are approximately 30 robots on campus.

Although the robots only deliver food on campus, they require the use of city-owned sidewalks, particularly in the southeast side of campus, according to Brendon Dybdahl, director of Marketing and Communications in the Division of University Housing. 

“University Housing was already granted an exception that allows us to use certain City-owned routes for our robots so that we can serve most of campus,” Dybdahl said. “We’re grateful that the City has seen the value of our delivery service on campus and has allowed for this in their ordinance.” 

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