It’s a high-tech automation era where robots make coffee. If you design a sequence of processes well, it’s not a difficult technology for robots to do simple repetitive works. The recipe for making coffee is fixed, and there’s not much exception.
Then what about face-to-face services? The customer needs and circumstances of the service vary widely, and it is difficult to access without a precise design and technical skills. That’s why many people focused their attention when AI guidance robots first appeared at airports, where people from all over the world ask for high level service.
Airport Robots became the general trend
Meeting AI guide robots at the airport is not a huge surprise anymore!
In August 2017, New Zealand Airlines brought in humanoid robot Chip that helped checking in flights for a week at Sydney Airport. Amsterdam airport used to run the robot Spencer. Haneda Airport in Japan is planning to deploy seven types of robots to help guide tourists of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
As such, airports and airlines around the world are introducing guide robots. To help customers use the airport faster, more convenient, and more enjoyable.
Pinnacle of the airport robot trend, ‘Airstar’
Airstar is the world’s first commercialized airport guide robot (by Incheon Airport) grafting various advanced information and communication technologies such as self-driving, voice recognition and artificial intelligence.
By the way, did you know that Airstar is a second-generation guide robot of Incheon Airport?
Airstar is the second-generation robot that was created by upgrading the first pilot version guide robot in 2017. After becoming an official family of Incheon Airport in July of 2018, Airstar and Incheon Airport have been together for three years.
There were many airports that introduced guided robots on a trial basis even a decade ago. They were just turned away because of some technical shortcomings. However, Airstar is an all-around robot that works in conjunction with the control center providing information of the entire airport, guiding ways and escorting passengers.
These days, many airports around the world are preparing to introduce guide robots. Airstar, which has been doing its job well for three years with Incheon Airport, is sufficient enough to be called a pioneer of the airport’s robotics industry.
There are eight Airstar flights at Terminal 1 and six at Terminal 2. They are currently highly active as a customized guide for passengers in the departure hall, duty-free area, baggage claim area of the arrival hall, etc.
160cm tall and fluent in 4 languages…
peerless ‘Hot Robot’
“Airstar seems great, but… there must be a standard to measure the extent.”
Of course it is prepared.
“Pepper,” which was introduced in 2018 at Munich International Airport in Germany at a similar time to Airstar, could be regarded as the standard. This SOFTBANK and IBM Watson’s collaboration robot attracted a lot of attention in the early days. Munich Airport and German airline Lufthansa employees baptized the robot and named it Josie.
Compared to Airstar, Josh has arms and legs that make it look more like human. However, Airstar is 160cm tall and weighs 135kg, showing off its heavy presence at the vast Incheon Airport. And also, it has unforgettable round, chubby cuteness. The smarter of the two is Airstar, too. While Josh could speak only English, Airstar can speak four languages: Korean, English, Chinese and Japanese. Being able to express 14 different emotions, Airstar can communicate with people naturally. It’s an all-round robot, right?
Best of all, Airstar being the only robot that’s been running consistently at airports all over the world is a remarkable achievement. Wouldn’t it be the result of Airstar providing the passengers with the useful services they really need? This time, let’s take a closer look at what Airstar is offering, which has become the mascot of Incheon Airport!
Airstar’s service by the area
- If you tell it about the flight, it tells you immediately where the right check-in counter is.
- If you want, it takes the lead and escorts you to your destination.
- It provides real-time congestion information of departure hall.
- It tells you about security screening procedures, prohibited items, and even recall them.
- It tells you the location of duty-free shops
- After recognizing the boarding pass barcode, it gives you the real-time boarding information and the location of the boarding gate
- Once you recognize the barcode of the baggage tag, it shows you the location of the baggage reclaim.
- It even provides public transportation information to help you get to your destination from the airport..
Two things you have to do when you meet Airstar
1) I am the VIP of Incheon Airport… should I get an escort?
“Airstar, where can I check in for a flight to Taipei?”
“Yes, the flight to Taipei is the Counter L. If you follow me, I’ll show you to the counter.”
You think it’s going to be slow because it’s a robot? Don’t worry about it. It’s similar to the speed a person walks, a meter per second. It can also adjust the speed depending on the traffic at the airport. If there are many obstacles, it slows down and moves quickly in a quiet place
Not only does it moves smoothly to avoid obstacles, but when the crowd gets in the way, it says, “Be careful. I’ll pass by for a moment.” What’s more amazing is that it doesn’t go alone. It even has manners to stop and wait for a customer who couldn’t catch up! It’s worth being escorted once, right?
2) If you met the star of Incheon Airport, you must take proof shots.
Meeting Airstar at Incheon Airport can be a precious memory that you want to keep with a picture. When taken through Airstar, it takes a portrait of 740×1314 resolution and send it to you through SMS, email, and Facebook. For those of you who want to take a photo with Airstar, a mode called ‘Shooting together’ is also prepared. You can choose a refreshing and humane look, so take a heart-to-heart picture with a natural two-shot.
[ICN Snap] “Airstar needs some sleep, too”
Did you know that there is an Airstar ‘charging station’? Since it is an electrically powered robot, Airstar also needs to charge energy. Airstar will be asleep when it is not hours of operation, so don’t wait around!
[Airstar’s hours of operation]
- 7am ~ 11:30am
- 14pm ~ 18pm
If you look at Airstar, you can feel the value that Incheon Airport is aiming for. From Smart Information Service to Entertainment! You could see the details Incheon Airport prepared delicately for the journey of the passengers to be more comfortable and enjoyable. That’s why Airstar looks warm.
Airstar is only in Incheon Airport among airports all over the world! You know t’s necessary to take proof shots, right? Make a pleasant trip with Airstar.