Robot speeds up airport check-in

Passengers can have their bags checked in outside the terminal by Leo, the automated baggage handler. Photo / SITA
Passengers can have their bags checked in outside the terminal by Leo, the automated baggage handler. Photo / SITA

With the help of a new robotic baggage handler, travellers could be checked in before even entering the airport terminal.

The new technology was trialled at Geneva Aiport in Switzerland this month - with hopes that the helpful robot could speed up the check-in process and reduce airport congestion.

Named Leo, after Leonardo da Vinci, the robot was developed by IT specialists SITA.

Passengers scan their boarding passes before loading their luggage into one of Leo's designated compartments.

Leo then prints a luggage tag for the passenger to attach to their bag.

Once this is done, the baggage compartment closes and locks.

The passenger is presented with a luggage receipt and Leo makes its way into the airport terminal.

The robot is fully automated and can bypass people and bags when moving around the airport.

"Passengers would have had to check in online before arriving at the airport. Leo then helps them with their bag drop without having to go into the terminal building," a spokeswoman for SITA told MailOnline Travel.

"Once the bag has been tagged and securely placed in the baggage robot, it will take it directly to the baggage handling area while the passengers can then proceed straight to the gate."

Since its trial at Geneva Airport, Leo has travelled to Barcelona for SITA's annual Air Transport IT Summit.

Feedback on the Leo prototype was said to be "positive".

Travellers will get another chance to be served by Leo when it returns to Geneva at the end of the month.

- nzherald.co.nz

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