JAL starts trial run for humanoid robot guide at Haneda airport


Japan Airlines Co. started trials of a humanoid robot guide at Haneda airport on Tuesday. The machine offers information about flight schedules and the weather at flight destinations.

The white, 60-centimeter-tall robot, made by a French company, will stand in Terminal 1 from Tuesday to Thursday. It will also be deployed from Feb. 16 to 18.

The robot is named Nao. It speaks Japanese, English and Chinese, and will be placed at the departure counter and security check areas to provide information to passengers on such things as the airport’s facilities and the deadline for security checks, the airline said.

Some users who tried the machine were surprised at its voice recognition.

“The response was faster than I thought and it could also easily pick up what I was saying,” said university student Soma Yuki, 22, after the robot showed her the weather in Osaka using a nearby screen.

Whether the company employs the robot in the future will depend upon its performance, JAL said.