KLM: robotic luggage trolleys to be tested at US airports
Royal Dutch Airlines has developed a robot companion Care-E model, a trolley that can automatically transport luggage, which can guide passengers through the airport while carrying 85 pounds of hand luggage.
The personalized features of KLM's Care-E are designed to match the friendly and special care provided by KLM staff to its customers. The robot uses non-verbal sounds to express emotions and has a light-emitting panel with two light spots for eye movements.
Care-E will conduct a two-day proof-of-concept trial at JFK and San Francisco (SFO) in the United States in the summer of 2018. The robot greets passengers after they pass security checks, scans barcodes on tickets and follows passengers at the airport at 3 miles per hour; it also acts as a guide to help passengers find stores, restaurants, and lounges and lead passengers to Their boarding gate. The robots are programmed with the airport's GPS map and updated based on the latest gate information so they know the changes at the gate. Passengers only need to follow the robot.
KLM has partnered with 10xBeta, a boutique product development company composed of international designers and engineers dedicated to the development of smart trolleys.
Care-E is the cousin of another airport robot Spencer recently tested by KLM. It is used to guide passengers around Schiphol Airport to ensure they do not miss international flights.
Care-E, like Spencer, is a one-time version and is only used to test the following technologies:
4K LED display: Animated and information LED display showing Care-E.
LiDAR: Laser sensor for 2D environmental mapping, collision avoidance, positioning and navigation in front of Care-E.
RGB-D Camera: Camera for viewing the environment in front of Care-E, body detection / tracking, boarding pass scanning, and collecting depth data.
Boarding pass camera: A camera used to scan passenger boarding passes.
Ultrasonic range finder: sensors for the collision avoidance of Care-E peripherals, five in the front and three in the rear.
Absolute encoder: An encoder that can accurately measure wheel rotation for distance measurement and positioning.
AHRS: Inertial measurement unit and heading reference system for determining pitch, roll, heading, collision detection, and measuring acceleration.
Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Module and Directional Antenna: An antenna used to detect the cliff effect when passengers leave the directional broadcast mode.
KLM will collect data from the tests to guide future autonomous technology development.
Boet Kreiken, Executive Vice President of KLM Customer Experience, said of the project: 'We want to surprise our extended customers with the airport concept. This is an extension of our friendly and smiling staff service. We would like to know that How innovative testing of personified technology is perceived by customers. Our goal is to change the way services are provided through the power of existing innovations and to transfer diagnostic models from the laboratory to where our customers are.