Malaysia Airports is testing robotics technology at Turkey’s Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (ISG) to provide a safe and contactless travel experience under its group-wide Airports 4.0 initiative.

The airport has introduced its first social robot, the ‘Aerobot’, which will not only help travellers navigate through the site but also promote a safe environment by reminding passengers of new travel practices.

ISG was selected to pilot this technology as it is currently witnessing better traffic movement recovery than Kuala Lumpur (KL) International Airport, making it more viable.

Malaysia Airports Group CEO Dato’ Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh said: “Last month, ISG registered 1.3 million passenger traffic movements or 60% of the group’s total. As such, we will be able to have a more meaningful gauge on the success of this latest initiative and its implementation viability at our other airports.

“As a group, we make an active effort to find technology solutions that can enhance service levels and also serve as measures to enhance safety and passenger experience.”

The mobile robot has been programmed to communicate in more than 20 international languages, including English, French, Spanish, Russian and Arabic.

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Aerobot is capable of profiling passengers and can immediately customise relevant conversation points by using artificial intelligence (AI) technology.

It can also answer flight inquiries, read barcodes, and escort passengers to their boarding gates.

Apart from Aerobot, ISG has installed sleeping cabins at the airside area, allowing passengers to self-check-in and check-out.

In addition, ISG has introduced its shop@saw e-commerce platform to enable both passengers and non-passengers to purchase food, beverages and travel-exclusive products from home or at the airport.