Campuses fire delivery robots with Russian ties

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Yandex office, Moscow, February 2018.

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Two US college campuses are currently losing their food delivery robots to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Grubhub said Thursday it was ending its partnership with Russian tech company Yandex and removing 100 food delivery robots made by Yandex from the campuses of Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, and the University from Arizona to Tucson, Arizona. Chicago-based Grubhub said it was working with both campuses to find alternatives.

Grubhub had been using the robots to deliver food to the Ohio State campus since August. The company began delivering robots to the University of Arizona last November. The company says it was making 1,000 deliveries a day between the two campuses.

Yandex is Russia’s largest Internet search and carpooling company. Toby Snuggs, Yandex Self-Driving Group Sales Manager, confirmed the split with Grubhub and said the robots would be sent to other locations outside the United States where Yandex has operations.

“It’s such a shame that we can’t continue with this great project that we embarked on in the US campus space with Grubhub because we all know it had a really positive impact on the student body,” Snuggs said. .

Earlier this week, ride-hailing giant Uber said it was trying to accelerate the planned sale of its shares in Yandex.Taxi, Yandex’s mobility business. Uber owns a 29% stake in Yandex.Taxi, worth about $800 million. Uber said three of its executives who served on Yandex.Taxi’s board have also quit.

In a regulatory filing on Thursday, Yandex noted that the Moscow-based company and its executives have not been targeted by specific sanctions because Yandex does not operate in the defense, aerospace or marine sectors.

The Nasdaq stock exchange suspended trading in Yandex shares last week.

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