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Polo-Wearing Robot Joins Indianapolis Airport’s Guest Services Team

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An Indianapolis airport recently became the first airport in the country to use robot technology to supplement its customer service.

Indianapolis International Airport (IND) rolled out the newest member of its customer services team last week, introducing travelers to the country’s first airport guest services robot.

Manufactured by Double Robotics, the interactive “Double Robot” is operated by airport customer service employees through an iPad, camera and speaker that top the bot’s frame, reports the IndyStar. With the advantage of being able to go anywhere in the airport at any given time, the robot provides real-time, interactive services for passengers looking for everything from transportation to help in finding airport amenities.

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Carlo Bertolini, spokesman for IND, told FlyerTalk, “The idea is that marrying this mobile, novel technology with traditional ‘Hoosier Hospitality’ can multiply the effects of personalized customer service by allowing Guest Services staff to check on passengers in different areas of the terminal from a centralized location.”

Double Robot will not replace the IND Guest Services’ main information station, Bertolini added, explaining that the robot is intended to supplement current service levels. As an example, Bertolini cited incidents from last winter, when IND experienced travel emergencies which prevented employees from coming to work and left passengers stranded after Guest Services hours.

“Although such scenarios are rare, the robot could be used to log in remotely to answer questions for affected passengers,” Bertolini said.

Double Robot, which cost $2,500 plus the cost of the iPad, can operate for an average of 5 hours before the iPad needs to be recharged. Bertolini said there are currently no plans to add additional robots as they work to optimize its use.

[Photos: Indianapolis International AirportIndianapolis International Airport Twitter]

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