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
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.
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."