Indianapolis retirement community using robots to help curb staff shortages

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WISH) — An Indianapolis retirement community got creative to handle staff shortages.

Hoosier Village has used robots since December of 2021 to help staff serve residents in the dining hall.

Mindy Kantz, the executive director of the retirement community, says it’s the first type of technology like this in the Midwest.

“What we didn’t want to do was replace our staff, but enhance their ability to perform and provide the hospitality services,” Kantz said. “We have two robots and we’ll use them indefinitely.”

The robots are programmed to go right up to a table with food ready to go.

Ralph Oelke, a three-and-a-half year resident of the community, says the robots are fun and provide great service.

“I think when people see these for the first time they’re in awe. When the grandchildren see these for the first time they actually scream with delight. That’s happened here before. It’s something new and it’s right out of a comic book,” Oelke said.

The robots cost Hoosier Village a couple thousand dollars each month.

Kantz says the next step is to name them. Hoosier Village will hold a contest in the near future to see who gets to name the two robots.