Japan Airlines (JAL) and Nomura Research Institute (NRI) are conducting test to improve customer service with a Nao service robot.
The tests will be conducted at JAL’s Information Counter and in front of the security checkpoint at Haneda Airport Passenger Terminal 1.
At the information counter, a service robot will be linked to digital signage to provide customers with information on their flight and aircraft, and tourist sites and weather information at the destination through conversation.
Tests will also be conducted to verify the effects of connecting airport staff and service robots, such as sending instructions to, or receiving notices from, the service robot through a wearable device (Apple Watch) worn by airport staff.
The possibility of providing multilingual services for inbound customers using the service robot will also be verified.
The verification test is part of NRI Future Garage program, in which NRI and other companies work together to jointly create new businesses and services using cutting-edge technology.
In this verification test, JAL will identify issues in the use of robots on airport frontlines and verify the significance of using service robots, which are clearly different from automated services such as digital signage, aiming to create new values of customer service.
At the same time, JAL will explore possibilities of using service robots to assist airport staff with their work.
Considering the scenes in which service robots will be used in the test, the service robot made by Aldebaran, called Nao, will be used, because “its movements have a high degree of freedom and it can speak multi-languages”, according to a statement from the companies.
NRI is in charge of developing the system using this robot.
Furthermore, NRI will verify the practical level of natural user interface and conduct research into new methods of developing interface with diverse sensors and existing systems.
JAL says will continue to embrace new challenges under its programme Embrace new Challenges JAL, which it says “aims to provide customers with unparalleled service by delivering a refreshing and inspirational travel experience”.
NRI says will continue to meet new challenges for innovation in the industrial world, such as conducting joint businesses through NRI Future Garage and “assisting companies in realizing safe, convenient businesses and services”.