Geneva airport has Leo. Amsterdam has Spencer. And now Glasgow has Gladys.
We’re talking robot assistants, in Glasgow’s case an all-singing, all-dancing android that in reality is Pepper in a Christmas suit.
Gladys, who’s believed to be the first robot used by a U.K. airport, rolled into the departure lounge for the first time this week to entertain travelers as they wait for their flights.
In the run up to Christmas Day, the “humanoid robot airport ambassador” will sing and dance to various festive songs, among them Santa Claus is Coming to Town and everybody’s favorite, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
She’ll also keep younger passengers entertained by regaling them with a number of seasonal tales such as ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas and Santa’s Workshop.
Passenger response to Gladys will be monitored by the airport’s operator to help it explore how interaction with customers can be further improved through the use of digital technology. As long as no one does anything like this to Gladys, the airports android project should be a success.
The airport is clearly keen to make the most of modern tech to help keep passengers and visitors informed and entertained. In 2015 it launched Holly the Hologram at different locations throughout the facility, with the virtual assistant continuing to offer a range of advice to travelers.
“We’re always looking for new and innovative ways in which we can further enhance customer experience at Glasgow and believe the introduction of Gladys to be a first for a U.K. airport,” Glasgow airport’s Mark Johnston said.
In recent years, an increasing number of airports have been exploring how robots can work for them. Besides Gladys and the other two mentioned at the top of the article, we’ve also borne witness to this rather crude effort at Indianapolis airport, as well as this more advanced android introduced at Tokyo’s Haneda airport in September.
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