New airport robot automates the baggage process

A new baggage robot developed by air transport IT provider SITA could help relieve congestion inside airports and make the travel process more convenient for passengers.

Leo is a self-propelled robot that comes to the assistance of passengers as they approach the terminal building. It can be used to check in, print bag tags and transport up to two suitcases directly to the baggage handling area, where they are sorted and loaded onto the correct flight.

The robot has already been trialled in Switzerland and Morocco.

Abdelhamid Addou, chairman and CEO of Morocco’s national carrier, Royal Air Maroc, said: “The smart use of new technologies is undoubtedly the key to improving the passenger experience while helping airlines better manage a growing number of travellers in a more sustainable way. This requires out-of-the-box thinking and Leo is exactly the sort of innovative exploration that will help airlines and airports manage the new challenges we as an industry will face in the next decade.”

A survey by SITA earlier this year revealed that many airline passengers prefer to use self-service technology rather than interact with airport employees. What’s more, passengers experience the most negative emotions during security screening, passport control and baggage collection — the steps with the least number of self-service technology options.

“Knowing that passengers prefer using their own devices and self-service technology throughout the journey should encourage airlines, airports and government to examine how they can transform the experience at security, border control and baggage collection,” commented SITA CEO Francesco Violante. “The technology is available today and the industry can be confident that it will be welcomed by passengers.”

If you want to see Leo in action, check out this video.

Sign up to our newsletter

Meet our experts