If a robot can lead passengers through an Airport, can it guide you home?

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The below article describes how a Swedish university has created an automaton that can guide confused passengers through the irregular and complex environment of a terminal. Spencer, the computerized cognoscenti, can deal with all of those variables. Why not add three dimensions to his capabilities?

As his creator, Achim Lilienthal explained, “Navigating an airport is challenging, there is a lot of glass and a constantly changing environment in terms of temporary obstructions such as parked luggage trolleys and people everywhere.” Our roving Android genius, Spencer, can define and memorize his metes and bounds by “using laser beams and can avoid fixed obstacles, such as walls, as well as moving objects like pedestrians.” Spencer can sense/see and avoid people moving around him.

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Consider that Spencer is dealing with emotional, untrained people confounded by the space through which they are attempting to move. Still, so say the scientists, Spencer can design a path through the airport maze to the desired destination.

Now ask the Swedish Mechanical Missive to respond to highly trained professionals, who are not inclined to panic. The challenge of talking to the cockpit crew is greatly diminished in terms of both complexity of the content and the tone of the conversation. Their inquiries will be expressed quite precisely and based on charts/flight paths in the possession of both the robot and the pilot. They are both masters of a common, known database.

The variables which Spencer will cope with in the terminal will be far more complex than the predefined parameters of air space. The pilots as a target audience is expected to be infinitely more prepared and expert in the relevant field.

Seems like Spencer, after passing his difficult passenger test, should be ready to move up to the tower and the ATC center. Given his errorless programming, Spencer might be seen in the cockpit?

 

ARTICLE: Swedish robot to help guide travelers through airports

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