Hoosiers can now access fresh food from Sally the Robot. The robot, located in the Beet Box Eatery in front of The Healthy Food Cafe, offers vibrant, forward-thinking meals via touchscreen interface 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Sally's unlimited accessibility benefits employees, especially those who work night shifts, at Franciscan Health hospital, located across the street. Several other medical and veterinary facilities, as well as fitness centers and hotels, are located nearby.
Sally, created by Silicon Valley-based food robotics company Chowbotics, offers thousands of custom meal and snack options from any combination of up to 22 ingredients, in addition to chef-crafted, pre-programmed bowls. Sally serves salads, grain bowls, and yogurt bowls in entree-sized portions. Ingredients with which users can customize include chile verde-roasted tofu, quinoa and yam pilaf, fire roasted corn, garbanzo beans, spiced pepitas, tortilla strips, and pulled chicken mole; and pre-programmed recipes include Mango Kidney Bean Taco Salad, Crisp Jicama and Mango Salad, and Spicy Spinach Salad.
Users can fine-tune the calorie total by adding or subtracting ingredients, as well as view full nutritional details for each recipe. Sally is equipped with a credit card reader to facilitate transactions when the cafe is closed. A smart refrigerator stands next to Sally, providing customers with cold press juices and healthy snacks to pair with their meal.
For nearly three years, The Healthy Food Cafe has dished out vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and paleo options made with local, seasonal ingredients to its health-conscious customers. "Adding Sally to our team was a no-brainer," says Erica Bryant, owner. "We are excited to provide the same quality of food our customers have come to expect all day and night through this groundbreaking technology."
Sally's proprietary technology also reduces the risk of foodborne illness, as ingredients are kept sanitary and separate. Each of Sally's ingredients is replenished on a regular basis and contained within the robot, greatly reducing the potential for contamination.
"Sally is an ideal alternative to a salad bar, especially in and around higher-risk facilities such as hospitals," says Dr. Deepak Sekar, founder and CEO of Chowbotics. "Sally's fresh, healthy food will bring nourishment to those working at or visiting Franciscan Health as well as the Indianapolis community at large."
Chowbotics has been recognized by The New York Times, Food & Wine, Bloomberg Pursuits, CNN, CNBC, WIRED, TechCrunch and many more influential national publications for its creation of Sally and the robot's impact on the foodservice industry. Fast Company named Sally one of "10 Restaurant Innovations Changing the Way We Eat" and a 2018 World Changing Ideas Finalist.