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Sally the Salad Robot goes to college

Published: Jan. 21, 2021 at 12:02 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Robots are making it easier to eat healthy at Bismarck State College.

Sally the Salad Robot dispenses a wholesome lunch option in a high-tech way.

But this robot is doing more than just dispensing a fresh salad; Sally is also showing students what a real-world job in automation could look like.

A quick lunch just got a little healthier for students at Bismarck State College. A few selections on this touch screen and a custom salad is prepared. This is one of three Sally the Salad Robots on campus.

“I asked for one sally, got three Sallys!” said an excited Deb Sadness, food service manager at BSC.

The robots were purchased with money from the CARES act. Salad bars were shut down because of COVID concerns. Sally can now safely offer those same nutritious choices. Ingredients are loaded into canisters, which means there’s no cross contamination, and all the salad fixings stay fresh longer.

“They are low maintenance and available 24/7. As long as building is open, students can get product from Sally,” said Sadness.

Students appreciate the healthy options.

“I found it really fun to customize your own salad and put exactly what you want on there,” said BSC freshman Madalynn Redig.

Sally is also giving students in the automation program a taste of what their future careers could look like.

“Students might get hired to work on Sally,” said Reynold Miller, an associate professor in the BSC energy progrm. “The salad making machine is very similar to any type of an automated process. They’re not only creating their own systems, they’re drawing, wiring, programming and trouble shooting them.”

Sally isn’t just for salads. BSC is also looking at using Sally for yogurt parfaits, mac and cheese and even power bowls.

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