Assisted-living homes deploy robots to help residents

Since the coronavirus pandemic hit, it's a brand-new world. But social distancing is not that bad when you've got Temi.

The personal robot is a new addition to Maplewood Senior Living, a community of 14 assisted-living facilities in the tristate area. Plans had already been in the works to introduce the robots to their residents and staff. But since new rules ushered in the cancellation of group activities and isolation, they decided it was time for Temi.

"We decided to fast-forward and deploy them to all of the suburban properties," Eleonora Tornatore-Mikesh of Maplewood Senior living says. "And the residents, I wish I could capture the faces when Temi sort-of joined our staff."

Residents use Temi for lots of things like getting packages delivered and chatting with family members.

Gal Goren, Temi's creator, says it was designed with seniors in mind.

"Once we developed the product, we started to enjoy the product," Goren says.

But it has other uses, too. Temi is easy to customize and has a smart assistant feature with built-in Alexa. The robot, which sells for about $4,000 on Amazon, can also be used in places like retail stores.

The robot has facial recognition features and will remember someone who has previously interacted with it and even greet them by name.

But for the elderly residents at Maplewood Senior Living, Temi is the perfect blend of high-tech gadget and best friend.

"I think COVID ripped off that Band Aid on accepting technology," Tornatore-Mikesh says.  "Technology is not going to replace human interaction, we're not looking to replace.  We're looking to supplement it."


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