The Future Is Now: Robots in Tokyo Airport to Help Lost Passengers Mary Zakheim October 7, 2016 Travel News Have you ever been hopelessly lost in an unfamiliar airport? In Japan, robots will soon be there to help you. Hands Airport Begins Testing Robots as Airport Guides | via Mental Floss https://t.co/A9oQKA3FRM pic.twitter.com/R6JQNb3rkl — Visit Japan (@Visit_Japan) September 9, 2016 Last month, Tokyo’s Haneda Airport ran the first two proof-of-concept phases for a fleet of bilingual assistance robots to help travelers in their busiest terminal. Japan installs bilingual robots at Haneda airport to help guide tourists https://t.co/FFYXN3zQI7 pic.twitter.com/8lk3jjx6kx — Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) September 6, 2016 Electronics company Hitachi created the roughly 3-foot-tall robot to help passengers navigate their way through the busy airport. They were initially placed in Terminal 2 (which is for domestic flights), close to one of the airport’s information boards and answered travelers’ questions, showing them maps and images of the terminals. The final phase, set to launch this December, will see the robots guiding passengers requesting help through the terminal to where they want to go, like their departure gate or a gift shop. See Hitachi’s humanoid robot EMIEW3 in action – you will want to take one home! https://t.co/bxQSTLXiL6 — Hitachi (@HitachiGlobal) October 6, 2016 The robot, named EMIEW3, has been in development for 11 years — and the work shows. The humanoid robot can interact with travelers in both Japanese and English (using over a dozen microphones to hear a single person in a crowded airport), as well as expertly navigate on rollerskate-like feet. It can even pick itself up if it’s knocked down. The operating system for the EMIEW3 robots allows them to not only function individually in helping airport guests, but also work together, with a stationary desk robot passing off a traveler in need of assistance to a mobile EMIEW3 to show the way. Hitachi developers have even designed a system where adrift air travelers don’t even need to ask for help. An EMIEW3 will be alerted to people who’ve been standing motionless for sustained periods of time and approach them to offer assistance. Haneda Airport is the perfect launchpad for such a test, as it sees many fliers stopping in on layovers and needing assistance navigating the unfamiliar airport. Japan is no stranger to implementing cutting-edge technology into consumer-facing business: Last year the city of Nagasaki saw the opening of the first hotel staffed by robots, ditching hotel keys for face recognition technology. The future is now! *Books flight to Tokyo*.