Care-E is a self-driving trolley that guides passengers through the airport and can carry their hand baggage.
To use the robot, passengers scan their boarding pass at the scanner on Care-E. It reads the barcode details and those tell it the passenger name and flight number.
It then uses its AI technology to find out from KLM and the airport systems what gate number to head for and how to get there.
Passengers can pop their hand baggage on board the robot and it will carry it at a nice walking pace to the gate. So passengers can walk alongside their bag.
KLM is testing the robot and is planning to trial it at New York JFK and San Francisco International later in 2018.
The trouble with…
It’s a trial and it will be interesting to see how it works. But robots like this have also been trialed elsewhere. And the same questions come up for Care-E.
Will passengers really like lots of little blue devices perhaps clogging up the airport even more?
And what about liabilities? It takes you to the wrong gate, you miss your flight, it bumps into toddlers or big fold ankles and so on. Who is responsible?
And it does look like a big blue toilet seat.
KLM and robots at the airport
KLM has previously trialled a much larger robot to help passengers get around the airport.
In March 2016, the airline successfully completed several tests at Amsterdam Schiphol with Spencer a life-sized robot.
Robots at airports around the world
The number of robots trialed at airports (and ports) is increasing and includes:
- AnBot at Shenzhen Airport
- Airbot from LG, coming to Seoul
- ASIMO at Tokyo Narita
- Athena at Los Angeles
- EMIEW3 at Tokyo Haneda
- GLAdys at Glasgow
- Nao for Japan Airlines at Tokyo Haneda
- Kokoro at Tokyo Narita
- 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
Kokoro, the very human like assistant at Narita, AnBot at Shenzhen Airport with the cattle prod and the Sheldon Cooper lookalike at Indianapolis remain our favourites.
N.B. Image credit: youtube/KLM