Smooth travels ahead: Dublin airport introduces AI robots to aid passengers with luggage


DUBLIN AIRPORT panoramio, tags: ai-powered robots - CC BY-SA

Dublin Airport is introducing an innovative trial of four new AI-powered robot assistants designed to enhance the travel experience for passengers with additional needs. These state-of-the-art robots are aimed explicitly at supporting travelers with disabilities, including those with hidden disabilities.

Upon clearing security, passengers can proceed to designated robot call points. Here, they can place their bags into the robot and select their gate on a touchscreen interface. The robot will autonomously transport their luggage to the specified gate. This service aims to alleviate the physical burden of carrying luggage through the terminal.

The four robots, operational in Terminal 1, have been creatively named Handler Bing, Bilbot Baggins, Sir Bot A Lot, and K2DC. These robots are a part of the airport’s broader initiative spearheaded by its Innovation Hub. Each robot is equipped to carry up to two cabin bags, with additional space available for other personal items. It offers passengers a convenient way to offload and manage their belongings as they navigate the airport.

Improved airport accessibility

This cutting-edge deployment underscores Dublin Airport’s commitment to leveraging technology to improve accessibility and convenience for all passengers.

In addition to transporting luggage, these advanced robotic solutions will also guide passengers directly to their designated gates, providing a comprehensive assistance service.

“Four robots have been introduced into Terminal 1 at Dublin Airport as part of a trial,” said Graeme McQueen, Media Relations Manager at daa. This initiative reflects the airport’s commitment to enhancing passenger experience through innovative technology. By integrating these AI-powered helpers, Dublin Airport aims to provide seamless navigation and luggage management, ensuring a more comfortable and stress-free journey for travellers with additional needs.

“The robots are already a big hit with passengers, especially children, who can’t help but smile when they see them in action,” McQueen noted.

“While the robots add a fun and engaging element to the airport experience, they also serve an efficient purpose by helping passengers navigate the airport more easily,” he continued.

Travellers can look forward to seeing many more innovative solutions like this at Dublin Airport, as well as at Cork Airport, in the coming years. This is just the beginning of their commitment to leveraging technology to enhance the overall passenger experience and make air travel more accessible and enjoyable for everyone.

AI revolution enhancing passenger experience

Innovation is at the core of everything DAA does, with a continuous focus on leveraging new technologies and fresh thinking to enhance the passenger experience. Last year, this commitment led to the establishment of ‘DAA Labs,’ a dedicated business unit exploring how digital advancements and new technologies can be better utilized across airports and operations.

For the trial, the robotic service will be available from post-Terminal 1 security to gates 102-119; the longest walk a Terminal 1 passenger can make post-security.

This introduction of robots marks the second implementation of AI at Dublin Airport within the past year, following the opening of an AI-operated shop last October in Terminal 1 arrivals, the first of its kind in Ireland. AI technology has been undergoing trials and testing at Dublin Airport for some time, highlighting the airport’s commitment to innovation.

While the human touch remains integral to delivering a warm welcome and experience at the airport, there is significant potential for AI and automation to streamline navigation and improve efficiency. Automation is already prevalent throughout the airport, from airline check-in desks and passport control to convenient contactless payment options, such as the €2 water bottles available after security screening.

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