Lonely Planet Writer

The next generation of helpful robots may be coming to an airport near you soon

Navigating airports can be extremely stressful, especially for travellers that are experiencing delays. And while the last few years have seen airports all over the world introducing dynamic, cutting-edge technology and clever, targeted services in order to make life a little easier, the most intriguing update may be just around the corner, as airport robots are now being rolled out to help guests find their gates.

The Airport Guide Robot was introduced at Incheon International Airport in South Korea earlier this year.
The Airport Guide Robot was introduced at Incheon International Airport in South Korea earlier this year. Image by LG

Created by electronics company LG, the Airport Guide Robot is designed with a large curved screen to portray flight details and the estimated travel time to boarding gates, as well as assisting passengers that need more information. Boarding passes can be quickly scanned at the robotic assistant, who can then provide help in either Korean, English, Chinese or Japanese thanks to its voice recognition platform.  This summer saw the first of the robots being introduced at Incheon International Airport in South Korea, on a trial basis in anticipation of the Winter Olympics next year. As well as the Airport Guide Robot, a smaller model called the Airport Cleaning Robot was also introduced to help keep the floors impeccably clean.

“By dispatching its robots to one of the largest and busiest airports in the world, LG will be able to provide its robotic services to approximately 57 million travellers who pass through the airport every year,” LG said. By connecting to the airport’s central server, the robots are capable of quickly providing information on boarding time, as well as the locations of restaurants, shops and services, and it is even capable of escorting late travellers to the right departure gate.

The robots portray flight details and the estimated travel time to boarding gates, as well as assisting passengers that need more information such as shop locations.
The robots portray flight details and the estimated travel time to boarding gates, as well as assisting passengers that need more information such as shop locations. Image by LG

The Airport Cleaning Robot features autonomous navigation, with the capability of object-avoidance, and it can detect the areas that require the most frequent cleaning and stores the locations in its database in order to calculate the most efficient routes.