Northwest News

They may have a robotic personality, but they could help speed up security at Sea-Tac

TSA officer Robert Howard signals an airline passenger forward at a security check-point at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, in January 2010. Passengers departing Sea-Tac Tuesday may have seen a robot providing tips for getting through security faster.
TSA officer Robert Howard signals an airline passenger forward at a security check-point at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, in January 2010. Passengers departing Sea-Tac Tuesday may have seen a robot providing tips for getting through security faster. Associated Press

If only there was some way to speed up the security screening line at the airport ... Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is hoping it may have found one.

On Tuesday, passengers departing from the airport may have seen a robot providing tips for getting through security faster. Advice was provided through audio in English an on-screen animated instruction in six different languages, reminding passengers to remove scarves, jackets and belts before going through screening.

Sea-Tac will test the pilot program, according to a release, by seeing how many times passengers trigger the body scanner alarm during and after the robot test.

The release insists that the robot is not meant to replace Transportation Security Administration workers, rather augment the work of humans, allowing them to spend more time on critical security tasks.

Sea-Tac isn’t the first airport to utilize robots to enhance the experience of passengers passing through.

Mineta San Jose International Airport in California, according to a USA Today article in October 2016, used very similar looking robots to the ones Sea-Tac is utilizing to offer directions, take a selfie with or even dance.

In anticipation of the Winter Olympics next year, ABCnews.go.com reported earlier this month, Incheon International Aiport near Seoul, South Korea, recently started using Troika, a self-driving robot that will tell travelers how long it takes to get their gate and even escort them to their flights and another jumbo-sized robot that will help clean the floors. Tokoyo’s Haneda Airport also tried the EMIEW3 robot to help guide travelers around Japan’s busiest airport, according to a tnooz.com article in 2016.

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