Robot wants to make air travel less stressful

Finding your way through an airport can be an infuriating task. With cancellations, delays, and gate switches, you could find yourself running in circles forever before you board. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines wants to help make that jaunt from security to your gate a little less hectic with a little blue robot.

The robot, Care-E, will meet you at the security checkpoint and take you wherever you need to go with your carry-on luggage on its back. To start your trip with the robot, it will prompt you to scan your boarding pass through nonverbal sounds and cues on its screen. KLM will launch the device at New York’s JFK and San Francisco’s International airports before the company decides if it will provide the service elsewhere.

Care-E moves at around 3 mph, so if you’re running late and need to dash through the terminal to catch your flight, you may want to leave it at the security checkpoint. But if you’re early, you can use it for free with a two-day demo trial. KLM expects the robot guide to launch this month or August, but you may be checking for delays on your phone for a little while longer, as the device isn’t fully functional yet.

Smaller companies have tried to develop a smart airport device like Care-E but have repeatedly failed and fallen out of business due to airport policy changes on batteries and working out those kinks with relatively small teams. Despite past failures when it comes to smart luggage, Care-E has a whole airport ready to support the device so it has a leg up on its past competition.

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