Last updated: 09:51 AM ET, Thu June 25 2015

French Company Wants to Replace Human Airport Agents with Robots

Airlines & Airports | Gabe Zaldivar | June 25, 2015

French Company Wants to Replace Human Airport Agents with Robots

Image via YouTube

The robot uprising seems far more sensible than we thought it would be.

The Telegraph’s Henry Samuel reports Thales, a French electrical systems company, unveiled technology that could one day replace humans checking passports at airports around the world.

Samuel writes on the promising technology featuring at the Paris Air Show: “It has designed a machine that scans passports prints boarding passes, and – the real novelty - records an image of the passenger's face and iris, sharing all the information with computers around the airport.”

Unfortunately, that would eliminate that wonderfully awkward moment when you stare straight ahead and decide whether you should smile or frown when a TSA agent looks at your passport, then at you and then back at the passport.

Oh how we love that brief dance.

The following is a brief video from Thales that explains, in French, how the system would work.

As the host states at the beginning of the video, airports will become more crammed and traffic in the sky will get more severe.

It makes sense to unclog the congestion before it even starts. Perhaps, the answer lay in technology like that provided by Thales.

Samuel spoke to manager Pascal Zenoni who noted that there is far less need for personnel with this robotic system.

Zenoni noted to AFP, “You would only need one agent for every four or five machines. These systems can free up staff for the police and create more space in the airport.”

Humans remain pretty nifty entities. However, innovations such as these would make it feasible to scan a traveler and instantly search a worldwide database for possible travel flags, which is just one possibility.

Rather than pore over an insurmountable amount of date with human eyes, the info is assessed instantly.

While more research and testing must be done in the interim, the need for swifter travel through an airport is obvious, especially in the coming decades.

We do sincerely adore the cold welcome at the gate from human agents, but perhaps that photo check could be outsourced to our future robot overlords.


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