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Check-in robot improves airport management efficiency

Check-in robot improves airport management efficiency
Luggage handling is an integral part of airport management. It’s not rare that a passenger’s luggage goes missing during journey due to improper management. Now, there is a robot to make this process easier and more efficient.

Leo is an innovative baggage robot developed by SITA and built by BlueBotics – the first of its kind. It is a fully autonomous, self-propelling robot that has the capacity to check in, print bag tags and transport up to two suitcases with a maximum weight of 32 kilograms. It also has an obstacle avoidance capability and can navigate in a high-traffic environment such as an airport.

“Leo speeds up bag drop by greeting passengers and collecting their baggage before they even enter the terminal,” said Stephane Cheikh, Ventures & Innovation Manager, SITA Lab. “Touching Leo’s Scan&Fly bag drop interface opens the baggage compartment doors to allow passengers to place their bags inside.”

After passengers have scanned their boarding passes, the tags are printed and can be attached to the bag. With the bags loaded and tagged, the compartment door closes and Leo displays the boarding gate and departure time.

Leo then takes the bags directly to the baggage handling area where they are sorted and connected to the correct flight. The doors of the robot can only be reopened by the operator unloading the baggage in the airport.

Cheikh pointed out a number of factors that are driving demand for this solution. “There is a desire for improved baggage services as airports strive to create a truly seamless passenger experience for all their customers. Leo demonstrates that robotics hold the key to more effective, secure and smarter baggage handling.”

By limiting the number of bags and trolleys in the terminal, the use of a robot such as Leo also helps airports accommodate a growing number of passengers without compromising the airport experience inside the terminal. Congestion is reduced and airport navigation becomes easier.

Speaking about the company’s future plans, Cheikh said that Leo provides a glimpse into the future of baggage handling being explored by SITA Lab and is the first step to automating the baggage process from the moment passengers drop their bags to when they collect them.

“Using robotics and artificial intelligence, bags will be collected, checked in, transported and loaded onto the correct flight without ever having to enter the terminal building or be directly handled by anyone other than the passengers themselves.”


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