Robots Solve Airport Confusion

The Orebro University of Sweden has developed a cognitive robot that will be used by the Amsterdam Schipol International Airport to solve flight confusions. Spencer, the robot airport assistant, is an initiative by the Dutch Airline KLM to assist travelers so they would not get lost in foreign airports.

Foreign airport transfers can be really stressful, especially during this holiday season. Unfamiliar airport routes can give people a headache during peak travel time. And it's frustrating to know that there is no personnel to assist you or at least answer your query on directions. 

The Amsterdam Schipol international Airport will be using "Spencer" this holiday season to avoid confusion with regard to airport directions and navigation. It has built-in maps that enable it to navigate around the airport. It will be picking up passengers who have less transfer time and walk them through the airport from gate to gate so that foreigners would not get lost.

Likewsie, the robot is equipped with laser scanners and cameras with motion sensors. Spencer uses this to constantly scan the airport environment and for it to move in a safe manner to avoid bumping people while it does its work and at the same time evade obstacles such as wet floors.

The airport robot guide is able to speak many languages and even capable of learning and understanding certain human behaviors. To cite an example, Spencer will be checking from time to time the travelers that it is leading to the next airport gate and makes sure that people are still following it. Also, instead of squeezing through a crowd, the robot prefers to navigate around them to avoid bumping hazards.

Orebro University's Spencer project leader Achim Lilienthal said that the airport robot in the future could be used to assist travelers in other ways as well, like look after people who missed their flights due to airport confusion and give precise information updates. In addition, the robot guide is an initiative that came from the Dutch Airline company KLM as a lot of its passengers get lost in foreign airports and the company wanted to provide a solution to this problem.

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