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How Pizza Robots Could Rock Senior Living

JacquelynKung's picture

By Jacquelyn Kung

If your's is like my busy family, one day you might order pizza, get gas, and get deliveries at your door.

Kinda sound like your life?

Robots Are Changing My Life

I just happen to live in San Francisco. So, it’s crazy, but I’m finding my life changed by robots, and it feels pretty normal. This could be how our senior living communities are run . . . pretty soon.

Let’s break down each activity and see what is happening:

1. Ordering Pizza -- SUCH DELICIOUS PIZZA!

Please meet Vincenzo -- he’s the handsome pizza robot that takes pizzas out of 800-degree ovens and puts them into boxes. He is named after the guy from Italy who comes to check on how pizza making is going at the Zume kitchen.

Vincenzo is just the latest robot to hit the kitchen lineup at Zume.

He helps Bruno, who loads pizzas into the oven. Of course, this is after Pepe and Giorgio have squirted tomato sauce perfectly onto each pie.

I first heard about Zume two years ago when my Postmates friend mentioned it was the fastest growing food provider on their platform. The reason is that their pizzas are SO INCREDIBLE, he said. Cooked to perfection on the way to your door.

Then I heard about it again at a chef event, when SF’s famous restaurant Jardiniere’s chef/owner looked around the room for the founder of Zume to ask her how labor costs work. Apparently, labor costs are crippling restaurant owners. Imagine that (sound familiar?) This high-end chef was a big fan of Zumepizza.

So I tried it: YES, IT IS DA BOMB! Evenly spread, perfect tomato sauce, arrives in 10 minutes or so for around $20.

Implications for Senior Living:

What are the 80 or so most frequently ordered items on our menus? When will our Vincenzo, Bruno, Pepe or Georgio start working back there in the kitchen? The hardware and software exist today and at some price point, there is an ROI.

2. Getting Gas -- SAFER PUMPING IN MY ‘HOOD

Last week I was filling up my car at the nearest Shell gas station. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a little white orb guy patrolling the grounds.

I poked my husband and pointed over there at the alien being.

Being his calm self, my husband just shrugged and said, “It’s one of those security robots.” Whaaa!?

Apparently, they’ve been patrolling Las Vegas and a bunch of other places as well. Here is a video of one.

I have to admit -- we live in an unsafe safe part of San Francisco so I really like how there is a security camera in a robot roaming around my nearby gas station.

Implications for Senior Living:

The robot that Aloft hotels use to deliver toothbrushes and extra waters have already been tested by PACE sites in Pennsylvania. When is it our turn? Instead of having four security guards patrolling my 1400 unit CCRC at night for emergencies, I could have one or two . . . or three Knight robots.

3. Getting deliveries -- ALL MANNER OF COOL THINGS ARRIVING

A few months ago, I was walking down 4th Street in San Francisco. And, lo and behold, there was a little robot rolling by me with a kumquat tree in its truck bed (the little area where you put stuff, like on a truck).

First of all, I don’t know who orders a kumquat tree. Or maybe it was a miniature orange tree. But still, it was clear that this little guy was getting it to its new owner.

Argentum’s Nathan Nichols describes how, in his neighborhood in DC, little delivery robots manned by Postmates are making deliveries.

As already mentioned, hotel guests at Aloft and other hotels in Silicon Valley are getting butler robot deliveries from the front desk through Savioke and other companies.

It’s not just my little 4th Street Corridor in San Francisco.

Implications for Senior Living:

Beyond package delivery, these delivery robots have been shown to be able to goad individuals to drink more water or get up and take a walk (a PACE-Savioke demonstration funded by federal research dollars). There are so many implications to how my Life Enrichment and Safety departments could augment their services and staffing of our CCRC.

We won’t even mention the 55+ communities (ahem: The Villages) that are getting self-driving on campus buses.

What else have you seen that has similar implications for our sector? Please leave your thoughts!

It’s here, and there are so many opportunities and implications for senior living.

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