Italy’s busiest airport is trialling a new service where robots deliver food and retail to passengers.
Passengers at the new boarding area A at Rome–Fiumicino International Airport order food, drinks and other items from Aelia Duty Free or Relay and have them delivered to the gate by a robot.
The robots navigate autonomously through the airport and the entire process is contactless and fully autonomous.
The project is part of the airport’s long-term strategy, aimed at maintaining the highest levels of service and enhancing passengers’ experience using cutting edge technology and innovation.
The robots were first trialled at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) in 2021.
How it works
- The passenger order goods at the airport using their mobile.
- They receive a unique QR code on their phone.
- The shops prepare the items and load them into the robot.
- The robot navigates to the gate and sends an update to the passenger when it arrives.
- The passenger scans the QR code at the robot’s top camera to open the secure compartment and retrieve their items.
Rome International Airport has partnered with Plug & Play Tech Center, LVenture Group and PWC in the development of “Runway to the future,” a program set in it’s ADR Innovation Hub.
The robot delivery is one of ten projects selected to take part in the programme.
Mr. Emanuele Cala’ VP of Innovation & Quality at ADR:
“We chose automation as one of our topics for our first call for ideas because we truly believe in enhancing passenger experience with a continuous improvement approach that has led FCO in its path of quality excellence and innovation since 2016.”
The robots, called Ottobots, are from Ottonomy, a Santa Monica-based company.
Ottonomy first introduced “Ottobot” at CVG International Airport in USA in 2021 enabling passengers to buy food and drink and get them delivered straight to their boarding gates by the robots.
Ritukar Vijay, CEO of Ottonomy.IO:
“We are actively working with global organizations to implement our autonomous robots, this allows them to become more sustainable.
“We are seeing growing interest in our technology in a variety of industries including travel, retail and hospitality. The launch of Ottobot 2.0 for ADR’s acceleration program is another milestone in the adoption of autonomous robots and how they fit into our daily lives.”