SEOUL, June 20 (Yonhap) – Incheon International Airport is introducing robots next month which could soon help customers find check-in counters and move luggage, and will also be capable of serving food at restaurants.
According to Incheon Airport officials on Monday, five guide robots and another five for cleaning will be trialed from next month, following four months of tests of the artificial intelligence-based robots at the airport, a process that was designed to improve accuracy.
Prior to the latest decision to deploy ten robots at the airport, luggage-moving robots were introduced as part of a pilot project in April, helping customers shop at duty-free shops by holding their bags then moving luggage to departure gates after shopping is done.
According to Incheon Airport, it’s the first time in South Korea for an airport to use robots for multiple purposes, a move the airport officials believe will attract more visitors to the airport as well as help boost the robot industry in the country.
In response to criticism that the introduction of robots could lead to staff cuts, one official said, “We aren’t replacing robots with staff members. Robots will be deployed to take a burden off the backs of late night workers and emotionally stressed staff members.”
The Korea Airports Corporation, which also runs the 14 other international airports in the country, is also following suit by introducing air-purifying robots in airports including Gimpo International Airport.
Hyunsu Yim (firstname.lastname@example.org)