Incheon, South Korea’s largest airport, has 10 new workers this week. Two types of robot one for passenger service, the other for cleaning.
Troika is for passenger service and there are five of them. About the size of a large child, Troika offers directions to destinations inside the airport, along with estimated distances or walking times.
It 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 can escort passengers to their gates, or any other airport location.
Troika is a fast learner and can answer simple questions in answering questions in four languages: English, Chinese, Japanese and Korean.
There are also five super-sized robot vacuums that is able to clean everything from tiles to carpet floors with multiple brushes. It should be very useful cleaning the large areas of floor space in the airport.
It has sensors, multiple cameras and sensitive bumpers to ensure it doesn’t sweep up passengers as well as rubbish.
The airport says the robots won’t replace human workers, but will help especially with overnight shifts and physically demanding tasks. We’ll see.
Created by LG Electronics, the robots were announced by LG earlier in 2017.
LG actually set up a trial at Seoul’s Incheon Airport in mid 2016 with two similar robots.
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
- Troika 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. Pepper in Taipei and Troika in Incheon are looking good.
N.B. Image credit: LG