Pittsburgh International Airport is trialling a new system where robots deliver products to passengers at the departure gates.
The robots, called Ottobots, are fully autonomous and can navigate through crowds and unpredictable environments. They use LIDAR, like self-driving cars, and other sensors.
Passengers can volunteer to take part in the trial and the robots will bring a free bottle of water to them at their gate.
The eventual idea is for the Ottobots to deliver food and drinks to passengers at departure gates. They will make the order on their mobile and receive a QR code with the booking details. They use the QR code to open the door on the robot with the goods inside.
Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) started using exactly that system in 2021.
Pittsburgh Airport has a video showing the Ottobots in action.
The Pittsburgh trial is part of PIT’s xBridge Innovation Center.
Launched in 2020, xBridge is Pittsburgh International Airport’s proving ground for technologies and startups that solve for needs in today’s airport and industry as well as tests and incubates strategic technologies that could be deployed in the future. The proof-of-concept and pilot site showcases new technologies in a real-world operating environment.
The robots, called Ottobots, are from Ottonomy, a startup company that launched in 2020.
The Santa Monica based company has offices listed in New York and India.
Ottobots navigate autonomously through crowds and unpredictable environments using Ottonomy’s proprietary Contextual Mobility navigation tech.
The overall system is highly scalable and flexible utilizing a comprehensive suite of cloud tools that manages a fleet of robots deployed throughout different areas of an airport.
N.B. Image credit: Ottonomy