Airport Automation Begins Enhancing the Passenger Experience

In the News
August 25, 2016

Tokyo’s Haneda Airport recently added some personnel at Security Checkpoint C in the South Wing of Terminal 1. But there’s just one catch: It added service robots are part of airport automation.

The Nao robot will be work at the large international airport on a trial basis to help improve customer service. It is a joint effort between Japan Airlines Co. (JAL) and consulting firm Nomura Research Institute Ltd. (NRI).

Nao is intelligently linked to a digital feed from the JAL information counter. Travelers can ask the robot about arrivals and departures, and it can interact and provide flight data, as well as weather forecasts and other information.

While the trial is only for a short period beginning next month, Japan Airlines hopes to study the dialogue between the robot and its staffers. They can tell Nao things such as closing times and passenger-service announcements.

JAL’s staffers use smart-watch technology to convey and receive flight and airport information. What’s more, the communications are being tested, not just in Japanese, but also in Chinese and English.

NRI has worked closely with France-based Aldebaran, now known as SoftBank Robotics, which developed Nao. NRI has helped the company perfect the robot’s movements and integrate its linguistic ability.

The partners expect to transfer their experience to airport automation. They hope that robots will effectively reduce...

Continue Reading