Airlines and airports have begun to adopt and invest in new technology such as check-in kiosks. Like most check-in experiences, sometimes you may encounter a crowd of fellow passengers waiting for the next available agent or machine. One airport is taking it a step further, where the check-in kiosks will actually move to where it is needed.
Kansai Airports, the operator of Kansai International Airport (KIX) and Osaka International Airport (ITAMI), is working with SITA on a trial of KATE – SITA’s intelligent check-in kiosk. KATE will autonomously move to congested areas in the airport with the aim to reduce check-in queues, promising to relegate check-in queues to the past.
At a recent media event, KATE was unveiled to the public. By all accounts, the kiosk moved seamlessly to areas of the airport where additional check-in services were required. In addition to figuring out where it may be needed next, the machine's artificial intelligence technology allows it to avoid colliding with people or things. It can also head to the nearest charging station should its battery run low.
Sumesh Patel, SITA President, Asia Pacific, shares his thoughts on the trial: “Japan has always been a forerunner in robotic innovations and intelligent technology. It is no surprise that Kansai Airports is leading the industry with the trial of SITA’s intelligent check-in kiosk, KATE. SITA has been the technology partner of Kansai Airports for the past three years, and we are thrilled to be partnering with the airport to introduce intelligent machines to improve the passenger experience. We will work with Kansai Airport to evaluate how this new technology is able to provide an even better traveler experience at the airport.”
For now, the technology will be on a test run for the month at Kansai's Terminal 1. Passengers at Kansai could check-in for flights with several airlines such as Air France, Air China, All Nippon Airways, Asiana, United, Japan Airlines, KLM, and Korean Air.