KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will be introducing an airport helper robot at New York’s JFK and San Francisco’s International airports, helping passengers cart their cases around and find their way to their flight.
The company’s Care-E robot will meet and greet people at the security checkpoint, take your luggage upon its back and guide you where you need to go.
It doesn’t talk, but uses cute facial expressions displayed on its 4K LED display to instruct you what you need to do in order to start using it. Before plonking your cases or hand luggage upon its back, you’ll need to scan your boarding pass with the integrated RGB-D camera, so it can work out where you’re going and will then allow you to place your bags on it.
It’ll then travel through the airport at 3mph with you at its side, transporting you to its gate. Of course, it’s probably not worth using Care-E if you’re about to miss your flight, but if you’ve arrived in plenty of time, you can take it for a whirl for free in its trial period.
Care-E uses Ai to work out where you’re going and when it’s on its journey, it’ll employ LiDAR and eight Ultrasonic Rangefinders to prevent it crashing into any obstacles and it uses 2D mapping techniques to track where it’s going.
It can carry luggage up to 85kg, which should be enough for the majority of people, unless you’re trying to transport an entire family’s luggage from one side of the terminal to the other.
Care-E isn’t fully functional yet, but KLM Royal Dutch said it should be ready to go later in July or August when it’s fixed a few flaws.