LG has unveiled two robots for use at airports – one for passenger service, the other for cleaning.
The Airport Guide Robot is an intelligent information assistant for passengers, answering questions in four languages: English, Chinese, Japanese and Korean.
The robot can scan a passenger’s boarding pass and then provide information about the flight’s boarding time and gate location on its large screen.
It offers directions to destinations inside the airport, along with estimated distances or walking times, and can escort passengers to their gates, or any other airport location.
The Airport Cleaning Robot is a super-sized robot vacuum that is able to clean everything from tiles to carpet floors with its multiple brushes.
It has sensors using light detection and ranging (LIDAR), multiple cameras and sensitive bumpers to ensure it doesn’t sweep up passengers as well as rubbish. We’re not sure if the bumpers are to protect the passengers or the robot.
The robot uses simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) technology to ensure it is always aware of its location.
Seoul’s Incheon Airport trial
The robots are expected to be seen at South Korea’s Incheon airport later in 2017.
LG actually set up a trial at Seoul’s Incheon Airport in mid 2016 with two similar robots. The look of the robots has changed a lot since then.
2017 – the year the robots rise up?
The number of robots trialed at airports (and ports) is increasing and includes:
- AnBot at Shenzhen Airport
- ASIMO at Tokyo Narita
- Athena at Los Angeles
- EMIEW3 at Tokyo Haneda
- GLAdys at Glasgow
- Nao for Japan Airlines at Tokyo Haneda
- Leo at Geneva
- Norma, Amelia, and Piper at San Jose
- Pepper for EVA at Taipei
- ‘Sheldon’ at Indianapolis
- Spencer at Amsterdam Schiphol
- Unnamed at Seoul Incheon
- Zunpeng Xiaobao for Shenzhen Airlines
Our favourites remain AnBot at Shenzhen Airport with the cattle prod and the Sheldon Cooper lookalike at Indianapolis. But Pepper in Taipei is looking good.
We’ve been saying for a while that 2017 is likely to be the year that the robots rise up at airports. 2016 saw a number of robots around the world doing some simple tasks. With the technology advancing rapidly, 2017 could possible seen robots become more main stream than gimmick.
N.B. Image credit: LG