Tag Archives: Sea-Tac Airport

Robots at Sea-Tac Airport

Last year, Sea-Tac airport found a perfect place for a robot to take over a repetitive but necessary task. During a study to figure out ways to speed up the security checkpoint process, one team found that standing in the security lines and encouraging passengers to remove items like belts and laptops early on before they arrived at the checkpoint helped the lines move more quickly. “They were able to measure improvement to the overall security checkpoint process,” says Wilson. “But after a couple of hours our team was pretty exhausted from nonstop talking with passengers.”

The team decided that a robot named Tracy would be the ticket. The robot-controlled sign spoke and provided advice on how to get through security quickly, by removing scarves, belts, and jackets in advance — and “she” did it in six languages and never got tired. Wilson says the experiment yielded a potential gain of 18 percent to 20 percent improvement to the overall security checkpoint process. Plus, he notes, “Tracy was quite a novelty and many passengers, especially children, took selfies with Tracy while waiting in line.”

Tracy, the passenger service robot

Tracy was just a pilot project, but she may be back soon. And if you’re walking through the airport today, you may just stumble across robots doing another job most humans find tedious: cleaning floors. One of Sea-Tac’s vendors, C&W Services, recently set a fleet of six self-driving floor-care machines in action at the airport. Brain Corp. provides the artificial intelligence software that manages and deploys the self-driving machineThe cleaning staff doesn’t need to directly operate the machines, so floor cleaning becomes autonomous. This allows the janitors to multitask and complete other work that requires a human touch while the floors get cleaned.

Floor cleaning robot at Sea-Tac

Read the full release from the Port of Seattle here.

Wearable Technology Assists Blind and Low Vision Travelers at Sea-Tac Airport



During a technology demonstration, Susan Mazrui, an Aria Explorer, shops for her daughter at a Sea-Tac Airport shop, with assistance over her cell phone.

The Port of Seattle recently introduced a pilot program for people who are blind or low vision that allows them to use a new technology to move more safely and independently through Sea-Tac Airport.

During the pilot program, there will be no cost to travelers to use the Aira service, which uses smart glasses and a cell phone mobile app to help them navigate from curb to gate.

This technology allows the user to speak to a certified live, human agent who can see the environment around the user in real-time. Agents then serve as visual interpreters for passengers to accomplish a variety of tasks in the airport—from viewing a flight information board to finding the cue line at a security checkpoint to verifying their luggage at a baggage carousel.

Sea-Tac is the first airport on the West Coast and is among the first airports in the nation to join the Aira Airport Network to provide this assistance.