Communities Receive New Helpers in the Dining Room

Robot server with plates of food on top.

American Senior Communities has enlisted the help of some unusual new team members at two of their assisted living communities. You’ll find them roaming the dining room delivering food – and they’re robots!

Called Servi from Bear Robotics, the robots can be found at Allisonville Meadows Assisted Living in Fishers, and at Aster Place Assisted Living in Lafayette. They feature three trays, safety sensors and even music, and are tasked with running food between the kitchen and dining rooms alongside culinary team members.

“Our goal in using robots is to allow our dining staff to spend more time in the dining room with residents, ensuring that their needs are met,” said Karen Powell, Vice President of Nutrition and Culinary Services at ASC. “When introducing this technology to the communities, it was important that our residents knew that the robots were not there to replace their favorite servers,” said Chris Kelley, Vice President of Senior Living. “They understand that this technology allows us to improve service and timeliness, along with the overall customer experience in the dining room. Giving time back to our team members gives them the opportunity to really focus on relationships with our residents.”

Robots are becoming increasingly popular in dining environments, as they can provide a variety of services that improve the efficiency of food service. The robots are equipped with sensors and cameras, which makes them able to navigate space intelligently, safely and with ease. The robots automatically know when to return to their post in the kitchen when internal weight sensors on its two trays detect that delivery has been completed.

“Overall, our residents have enjoyed the robots. They even have names for them,” said Powell. Allisonville Meadows calls their robot “Robbie,” and Aster Place Assisted Living held a resident contest to name their robot. According to Executive Director Joe Smart, the winning name was “E-Claire.” “Our residents get a chuckle out of watching E-Claire. If they don’t see her bringing out trays, playing music, singing ‘Happy Birthday’ and celebrating special moments with us, they start asking where she is,” said Smart.  

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