Air transport IT provider SITA has begun trialling a new fully autonomous baggage robot called Leo to assist passengers with their luggage at Geneva Airport in Switzerland.
The self-propelling baggage robot has the capacity to check in, print bag tags and transport up to two suitcases with a maximum weight of 32kg (70 lb). It is also capable of avoiding obstacles and can navigate high-traffic environments such as an airport terminal.
Touching Leo’s Scan&Fly bag drop interface opens the baggage compartment doors to allow passengers to place their bags inside. After the passengers have scanned their boarding passes, the tags are printed and can be attached to the bags. With the bags loaded and tagged, the compartment door closes and Leo displays the boarding gate and departure time.
Leo then takes the bags directly to the baggage handling area where they are sorted and connected to the correct flight. Only the operator responsible for unloading the baggage in the airport will be authorized to reopen the doors of the robot.
Dave Bakker, president Europe at SITA, said, “Through the innovative work of the SITA Lab we are able to tackle some of the key challenges that face airports today. Leo demonstrates that robotics hold the key to more effective, secure and smarter baggage handling and is a major step toward further automating bag handling in airports. Leo also provides some insight into the potential use of robots across the passenger journey in future.”
Massimo Gentile, head of IT at Geneva Airport, said, “In a busy airport such as Geneva Airport, the use of a robot such as Leo limits the number of bags in the airport terminal, helping us accommodate a growing number of passengers without compromising the airport experience inside the terminal. Leo also proves the case for increased use of robotics to make passengers’ journey a little more comfortable, whether it is checking in baggage, providing directions or helping them through the security process.”