Starting this month, two new robots at Seoul’s Incheon International Airport are helping to improve the airport experience for travellers.
Troika, a life-sized robot who stands about 4.5-feet tall, is happy to help you get to your next flight. Designed and built by South Korea’s LG Electronics, Troika responds to its name and can speak Korean, Chinese, Japanese, and English. So when you see the black and white Airport Guide Robot roaming around freely, feel free to stop and ask for help. The screen on Troika shows blinking eyes and a smiling mouth.
Troika is happy (or at least not unhappy) to point you in the right direction, share the weather in your destination city, or even walk you to your boarding gate. Don’t be slow, though, as the robot will ask you to “please stay closer so I can see you.”
Another robot isn’t designed to chat with guests, but rather to keep the airport clean. Assisting maintenance staff, you may see the Cleaning Robot vacuuming up trash on its rounds. This robot is equipped with light sensors, several cameras, and sensored bumpers to avoid obstacles.
Incheon International Airport says these robots provide extra assistance during busy times or overnight shifts, but aren’t going to replace human beings. Deploying the robots now means they can be tested with plenty of time to help the airport support the influx of visitors arriving for the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Looking for a place to sleep at Incheon Airport? Look out for Troika – maybe the robot can point you towards a quiet rest area to get some shut eye.
Article by Christina Kidd
Photo courtesy of LG Electronics