Air New Zealand experiments with robots at Sydney Airport

Air New Zealand is continuing its exploration of futuristic technology, this time with a new social robot that will help passengers check-in and board at Sydney Airport.

The five-day experiment is part of a collaboration with Commbank and uses the company’s Chip Candroid social humanoid robot, which the bank introduced within its Sydney Innovation Lab late last year. Travellers can see and interact with the robot until this Friday, August 25 at Air New Zealand’s check-in desks and select departure gates.

“People interact with them in a very social and sometimes emotional way, which means they can enhance experiences in ways that other technologies are unable to do,” said Tiziana Bianco, the bank’s general manager of Innovation Labs. “Chip is one of the most advanced humanoid robots in the world, and is perfect for our work aimed at understanding how humans and robots interact in dynamic social spaces.”

The experiment follows other future technology explorations that Air New Zealand has explored in the past. Back in May, the airline showcased how it was looking into the use of augmented reality by cabin crew to improve the in-flight service experience.

“This partnership and experiment with Commbank and Chip is another way we are pushing the boundaries to ensure we remain at the forefront of technology, which will allow us to further enhance the experience we offer our customers,” said Avi Golan, Air New Zealand’s chief digital officer.

But Air New Zealand is not the only airline to introduce robots at airports. Taiwanese carrier Eva Air began operating two interactive robots at Taipei’s Songshan and Taoyuan Airports in February.

airnewzealand.com


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