Robotic kiosks and other new tech coming to your airport

There"™s some cool new technology "” and creative uses of emerging technologies "” poised to make your trip through the airport less painful and, possibly, more rewarding.

That"™s the takeaway from the Air Transport IT Summit held in Brussels last week, convened by SITA, a global air transport IT provider owned by airlines and other air transport companies.

No more check-in lines? KATE may help

Last year, SITA Lab, SITA"™s technology research arm, introduced a self-propelling baggage robot named Leo, who may someday greet you at the airport curb, check you in for your flight, issue your bag tags and then take your bags away for processing.

This year, SITA Lab unveiled KATE, an intelligent check-in kiosk that can move autonomously, and in teams, to busy or congested areas in airports.

KATE the kiosk can monitor a variety of data sources, including flight and passenger flow information, sense when and where additional check-in kiosks are needed and, using geo-location and obstacle avoidance technology, move through the airport without bumping into things or people.

The robotic kiosks are also designed to automatically return to their docking stations when they are low on power or if they need a fresh supply of boarding passes or bag tags.

"The peak and troughs in the flow of passengers present a challenge to many airlines and airports," said Renaud Irminger, director of SITA Lab. "KATE leverages new technologies to provide operators much more flexibility and efficiency in the way they will use their kiosks in the future»…

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