Following a successful two-week pilot project, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol has decided to acquire 19 baggage robots in a bid to improve the work of employees in the baggage handling hall.
As the airport explains, these robots, developed explicitly for Schiphol within six months, are designed to alleviate the physically heavy task of lifting suitcases, previously carried out by humans.
The staff in the baggage reclaim area at Schiphol’s Zuid section, where KLM, Aviapartner, and Viggo handle departing passengers’ baggage within Europe, will now have the opportunity to work with these innovative robots.
After the successful pilot project that was carried out in June, the airport authorities have expedited the introduction process, allowing the robots to be implemented more quickly.
“We expect to use more of these robots at Schiphol in the first half of 2024. And that’s not all: we are making more innovations in the time ahead,” CEO of Royal Schiphol Group Ruud Sondag pointed out.
The collaboration between staff members and robots at Schiphol is expected to be highly effective, with the airport anticipating that on a large scale, the robots will lift approximately 80 per cent to 90 per cent of all baggage items without encountering any issues.
This performance percentage was even higher during the successful pilot project conducted in June, showcasing the robots’ remarkable capabilities, just shortly after the Airport Schiphol announced collaborating with baggage handling companies to conduct tests on two new technologies.
The same revealed that the first technology being tested is a robot explicitly developed for Schiphol, designed to lift suitcases in place of a baggage worker performing the same task.
In this regard, the Director of Asset Management at Royal Schiphol Group, Sybren Hahn, highlighted the baggage handling hall’s importance in enabling every traveller to embark on their journeys.
Moreover, the baggage robots provided by the Danish company Cobot Lift have a proven track record in other sectors, including bakeries, where they have been utilised for an extended period.
According to Schiphol Airport, this history of use in different industries demonstrates their reliability, adaptability, and ability to handle physically demanding tasks efficiently.
Over the past six months, the development of these robots has been dedicated exclusively to enhancing their capacity for lifting suitcases, customising them specifically for use at the airport.
Managing Director of Aviapartner Netherlands Erik de Goeij emphasized that the employees’ feedback from the pilot project with the COBOT has been highly favourable, and the tests have proven the robot’s capability to lift various types of suitcases from the baggage belt onto the baggage trolley.