Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Spencer will, in theory, "take group behavior
into account and recognize emotions." KLM Royal Dutch
Airlines began testing its new navigational robot at Amsterdam's Schiphol
Airport this week, with hopes to eventually make it available for all
passengers to use when lost, short on transfer time, or felled by the language
barrier.
As the airline's news release reveals, the robot, named Spencer, will be
roaming around the Schengen area of the Amsterdam airport through December 4
as part of this testing phase.
As one of the supporters of this project, the
European Commission notes that up to 80 percent of Schiphol's traffic "is due
to transfer passengers whose efficient handling is a significant operational
challenge." The Schengen area of the airport faces especially bad
bottlenecking, as transfer passengers have to go through passport control to
reach their connecting flights to other Schengen countries.
Though he won't be interacting with actual passengers just yet, if you're
passing through the airport you should keep an eye out to see him in
action.
The idea is for Spencer to "be able to recognize groups, take group
behavior into account and recognize emotions" as well as "proactively respond
to unexpected situations." Those unexpected situations could be as simple as
figuring out how to deal with and navigate around things like a parked luggage
cart, according to The Verge.
Spencer will go through a final demonstration phase in March 2016, after
which KLM hopes to use him as part of their greater robotics strategy that
Vice President of Customer Innovation & Care Michel Pozas notes is "to
offer staff and customers even better support, using innovative technology."
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines began testing its new navigational
robot at Amsterdam's Schipol Airport this week.
Read more.

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