After more than three years of construction and programming, Spencer the robot completed various tests at Schiphol this month.The test phase ended last week when Spencer successfully guided some KLM’s passengers at the airport to their departure gate.
During the various tests Spencer scanned boarding passes from passengers and guided them to the correct departure gate. Spencer heads off automatically and the passengers follow the robot, which adjusts its speed to that of the group, avoiding obstacles and informing passengers of the remaining distance to their departure gate. When they get there, Spencer reports this via a screen.
Spencer robot completed tests guiding KLM passengers at Schiphol
During the coming period, the partners involved in this project will evaluate the test results and discuss the next phase.
This project was co-funded by the European Commission as part of its 7th Framework Programme*. In addition to KLM, the project involved SME Bluebotics, the universities of Freiburg, Munich, Twente and Orebo, RWTH Aachen University, the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. The project is coordinated by the University of Freiburg.
The name Spencer is derived from “Social situation-aware PErceptioN and action for CognitivE Robots”.
(*) The 7th Framework Programme for research and technological development has a total budget of EUR 50 billion, to co-fund research, technological development and demonstration projects.
Also read our KLM.Blog for more information about Spencer.