SEOUL, Jul. 12 (Korea Bizwire) — Incheon International Airport opened a new era of “smart airports” by introducing “AIRSTAR,” a second-generation robot that can help airline passengers navigate the airport during a trial demonstration that took place yesterday in the third-floor departures hall.
During the demonstration, AIRSTAR was seen leading passengers to their airline’s check-in counters.
Pacing its movement in tune to 1 meter per second, the average speed of pedestrians, AIRSTAR would stop to wait for the individuals it was leading after having outpaced them.
In addition, the robot demonstrated its prowess at navigating around obstacles that lay in its path.
AIRSTAR is a robot incorporated with various ICT technologies such as voice recognition and artificial intelligence, and is an upgraded version of the airport’s first-generation robot in terms of design and function.
It is expected to enter regular service on July 21.
Hong Seo-yeon, an official at Incheon Airport, said that the introduction of the new robot was significant because it is the world’s first commercially operating robot.
“Although other airports around the globe have operated robots on a demonstrative level, AIRSTAR is the first to be operating on a regular basis,” said Hong.
The new robots will greet passengers in both terminals of Incheon International Airport, with eight robots in Terminal 1 and six in terminal 2, offering assistance at a number of different locations, including departure and arrival halls, duty-free zones and baggage claim areas.
Travelers will be able to obtain useful information about the airport by striking up a conversation with AIRSTAR, touching its touch-screen panels, or via barcode recognition.
Passengers can also tell AIRSTAR their flight number and in response, the robot will inform them of their check-in counter. If the passenger is game, AIRSTAR will guide them to their destination.
AIRSTAR can also provide passengers with useful information in real-time, such as the congestion status at the departure halls.
The robot also has functions that allow passengers to take photos to be transmitted to their email accounts or phone devices as text messages. The robots will offer support in four languages: Korean, Chinese, Japanese and English.
AIRSTAR has been produced since September of last year by a consortium led by LG CNS. Incheon Airport’s CEO Jung Il-young said that he will ensure that passengers will be able to utilize AIRSTAR so that their experience is enjoyable.
Jung also expressed hope that Incheon Airport would be a facility that fosters cutting-edge technology.
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