Malaysia Airports Pilots Robotics Technology at its Istanbul Airport
- Özgür Töre
Passengers travelling through Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (ISG) can now enjoy a safe and contactless passenger engagement experience through the use of the airport's first social robot, the “Aerobot”.
Malaysia Airports is piloting this robotics technology under its group-wide Airports 4.0 initiative as part of continuous efforts to improve travelling experience within the new norms. The “Aerobot” is a mobile robot that assists passengers in wayfinding and has been programmed to continuously remind passengers on new travel practices to promote a safe airport environment.
Malaysia Airports' group chief executive officer (Group CEO) Dato' Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh said that it is currently more viable to pilot such technology at ISG as the airport is currently experiencing better traffic movement recovery compared to KL International Airport, “Last month ISG registered 1.3 million passenger traffic movements or 60% of the Group's total. As such, we will be able to have a more meaningful gauge on the success of this latest initiative and its implementation viability at our other airports. As a Group, we make an active effort to find technology solutions that can enhance service levels and also serve as measures to enhance safety and passenger experience.”
Emerging city airport, ISG is currently among Europe's top 5 busiest airports so the Aerobot has been programmed to communicate in more than 20 international languages including English, Arabic, Spanish, Russian, French and many others. The artificial intelligence (AI) technology used by the Aerobot is also allowing it to profile approach passengers and immediately customise relevant conversation points. On top of that, it is also able to read barcodes, answer flight inquiries, and accompany passengers to their boarding gates.
Apart from the Aerobot, ISG is also leveraging on technology to enhance many of its other facilities and services at the terminal. Sleeping cabins that allow passengers to self-check-in and check-out have been installed at the airside area for the convenience of transit passengers. The self-check-in and check-out kiosks located at the sleeping cabin's reception area generate QR codes that not only provide access to the cabins but also to its shower facilities. Guests can also order meals that will be sent by an autonomous delivery robot to minimise human contact and further ensure their safety.
Another digital initiative is the introduction of ISG's e-commerce platform, “[email protected]”. Now, passengers and non-passengers alike will be able to purchase food and beverages and travel exclusive products wherever they are, be it at home or at the airport. Like the Malaysian platform, “shopMYairports”, the concept of an online shopping platform expands the reach of airport retailers beyond the brick and mortar set-up and provides a more accessible and safe airport retail experience. For example, passengers can now conveniently order online for later collection at the airport thus minimising physical contact. “[email protected]” is available at www.shopatsaw.com, @shopatsaw on Instagram; shopatsaw on Facebook and @shopatsaw on Twitter.