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NEWS Last modified on May 22, 2017

SITA unveils new robotic check-in kiosks that can move themselves around the airport

On the eve of its annual Air Transport IT Summit in Brussels, SITA has unveiled KATE, an intelligent, robotic check-in kiosk that it believes will help reduce queues at airports.

Developed by SITA Lab, which explores the future of technology in air travel, it notes that KATE will autonomously move to busy or congested areas in the airport as needed, promising to relegate check-in queues to the past.

And the good news is that it uses existing SITA data systems such as Day of Operations Business Intelligence and FlightInfo API.

The kiosks can also communicate through a Cloud service to ensure that the right number of kiosks are at the right position when needed, which SITA assures makes them highly responsive to changes in the airport.

A design patent application for the kiosks is currently underway.
Robot2
Renaud Irminger, director of SITA Lab, said: “The peak and troughs in the flow of passengers presents a challenge to many airlines and airports and we have been approached by many customers requesting a solution. 

"They want kiosks which can be easily deployed when and where they are needed. Building on SITA’s successful AirportConnect Open platform, and our previous work with robotics, KATE leverages new technologies to provide operators much more flexibility and efficiency in the way they will use their kiosks in future.”

The cutting-edge robotic kiosk makes use of geo-location technology to find its way through the airport. 

And it will use Wi-Fi to connect to vital airline and airport systems, dispensing with the need for cabling or other fixed attachments.
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This, says SITA, allows the kiosk to move around freely across the airport terminal, using obstacle avoidance technology to avoid bumping into people or things.

KATE and her fellow robotic kiosks will automatically return to their docking stations when they are low on power or need to be resupplied with boarding passes or bag tags.

Says SITA: "One of the key benefits of SITA’s autonomous kiosk is that it can be deployed anywhere inside the airport as well as other offsite locations such as train stations.

"This is particularly relevant during periods of disruption – such as weather delays or flight cancellations – where additional kiosks can be moved from landside to airside to check-in large numbers of rebooked passengers. 

"KATE provides passengers access to her easy-to-use interface to check-in and print bag tags."

KATE follows in the footsteps of LEO, SITA’s fully autonomous, self-propelling baggage robot launched at the 2016 Air Transport IT Summit in Barcelona, Spain last year.
Leo Geneva

 

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