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Print 10 comment(s) - last by HighWing.. on Oct 9 at 5:33 PM

IBM working with Amsterdam airport Schiphiol on robotic baggage handling system with RFID

Anyone who flies has some sort of anxiety about their luggage not making it to their destination, as evidenced by the size of the bags passengers attempt to stuff into overhead compartments. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and IBM are teaming up to take some worry away from passengers attempting to make connecting flights for the airport.

IBM will be providing a baggage management system that uses robots to sort and handle luggage. IBM’s contributions to the project include consulting services, hardware, software, and application development for the project.

The system will also use RFID tags to help correctly route and locate luggage inside the new baggage hall being constructed called “Nieuw Zuid.” The new baggage hall is scheduled to open in 2011 and the airport wants to be able to handle 70 million pieces of luggage a year by 2018.

InformationWeek quotes officials as saying  that six robots will manage the baggage and will handle 60 percent of the loading for more efficient connections. Peter Gerreste, President and CEO of Vanderlande Industries says, “[Robots would] contribute to the ergonomic handling of bags, improving the working conditions of the people." 

"Airports and airlines see improved baggage handling as a major step towards increasing passenger satisfaction," Charles Vincent, director of IBM Travel and Transport Europe, said in a statement. "The efficiencies of the new system will cut down operating costs and improve transfer connection times for passengers at Schiphol."



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Heh.
By vhx on 10/8/2007 7:44:34 PM , Rating: 2
And I remember reading they said RFID couldn't be used to track anything or anyone, only used to store information. Interesting...




RE: Heh.
By Fnoob on 10/8/2007 8:46:46 PM , Rating: 2
Um, it's Radio Frequency ID. Methinks tracking is possible. Besides, even if I'm totally wrong, I'm assuming that the RFID might actually store information - such as 'where this bag goes'.


RE: Heh.
By HighWing on 10/9/2007 5:33:33 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
And I remember reading they said RFID couldn't be used to track anything or anyone, only used to store information. Interesting...


I think your missing the point. They aren't "tracking" the luggage like a GPS system. Now I'm just guessing at this point, but I would think that the proposed system would be something where the luggage tags that get put onto your luggage would have an RFID chip in them. Then as the luggage travels down the conveier belts it would pass through a scanner that would attempt to read the RFID chip. At this point the RFID would be linked to your flight information and the robots would then know where to direct your luggage.

So the system is still technically "tracking" your luggage, but not in the sense that they would know exactly where your luggage is at all times.


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