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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 23 -- Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) has introduced “Aerobot”, a social robot, at Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (ISG).
In a statement today, the airport operator group said the mobile robot would assist passengers in wayfinding and had been programmed to remind passengers of new travel practices to promote a safe airport environment.
MAHB said it was piloting the robotics technology under its group-wide Airports 4.0 initiative to improve service efficiency in the new norm.
Group chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh said it was more viable to pilot such technology at ISG as the airport was currently experiencing better traffic movement recovery compared with Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
“Last month, ISG registered 1.3 million passenger traffic movements or 60 per cent of the group's total.
“As such, we will be able to have a more meaningful gauge on the success of this latest initiative and its implementation viability at our other airports,” he said.
As an emerging city airport, ISG is currently among Europe's top five busiest airports. Hence, the Aerobot has been programmed to communicate in more than 20 international languages, including English, Arabic, Spanish, Russian and French.
The artificial intelligence technology used by the Aerobot allows it to profile approaching passengers and immediately customise relevant conversation points.
The Aerobot is also able to read barcodes, answer flight inquiries and accompany passengers to their boarding gates.
Mohd Shukrie said apart from the Aerobot, ISG was also leveraging on technology to enhance other facilities and services at the terminal.
Sleeping cabins that allow passengers to self-check-in and check-out have been installed at the airside area for the convenience of transit passengers.
The self-check-in and check-out kiosks located at the sleeping cabin's reception area generate quick response (QR) codes that not only provide access to the cabins but also to its shower facilities.
He said guests could also order meals that would be sent by an autonomous delivery robot to minimise human contact and further ensure their safety.
Another digital initiative is the introduction of ISG's e-commerce platform, shop@saw. Passengers and non-passengers will be able to purchase food and beverages and travel exclusive products, wherever they are, be it at home or at the airport.
“Like the Malaysian platform shopMYairports, the concept of an online shopping platform expands the reach of airport retailers beyond the brick and mortar set-up and provides a more accessible and safe airport retail experience.
“For example, passengers can conveniently order online for later collection at the airport to minimise physical contact,” he added.
Shop@saw is available at www.shopatsaw.com, @shopatsaw on Instagram, shopatsaw on Facebook and @shopatsaw on Twitter.