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01

What is
Haneda Robotics Lab?

Aiming for the dissemination of robot technology in Japanese Society
and its promotion to the rest of the world

As we head for 2020, there is a general requirement for the further improvement of services and customer satisfaction throughout Japan. However, Japan faces a declining working population.

Haneda Airport believes the use of robot technology will be essential in the future. Thus, we established the Haneda Robotics Lab as part of the Japanese government's Reform 2020 project, in cooperation with the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism as well as the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry. We intend to provide opportunities for robot developers to do user testing, and encourage airport users to feel familiar with the robots. Eventually, we will clarify issues and share our knowledge with others.

Through the project, Haneda Robotics Lab aims at the dissemination of robot technology across Japanese society and its promotion to the world.

02

Outline of Robot
demonstration test

Haneda Airport
Robot Experiment Project 2016

Haneda Robotics Lab will be launching the Haneda Airport Robot Experiment Project 2016, aimed at the accelerated implementation of robots at Haneda Airport. The project will recruit robot technologies focusing on specialized areas to be implemented experimentally inside the airport.

Our aim in this project is to allow a variety of businesses and research organizations to perform effective testing and data gathering within our unique airport environment. We hope that this project will help to promote the efficient development of robot technology.

Selection result

Haneda Robotics Lab advertised for robot technology specializing in the 3 different fields: cleaning robots, movement support robots and guide robots. After strict, impartial consideration by Haneda Robotics Lab, the following robots have been selected.

Cleaning robots

F.ROBOCLEAN
FIGLA CO., LTD.
F.ROBOCLEAN is an autonomously run cleaning robot. With a combination of various sensors, it starts cleaning upon recognizing its surrounding environment. It is helpful especially under conditions where people would find it difficult to clean, for example in dark places. It can clean 300~650㎡ of areas with a standard set up. In Haneda Robotics Lab, we will test the newly added functions which include: big revolving lights and melody system (to make people aware of its presence). There will also be the initial verification to observe whether the robot works properly in public spaces such as where a crowd of airport users come and go in the future.
ROBO Cleaper
Nakanishi Metal Works Co., Ltd.
TUG is an autonomous delivery robot. The use of high sensing technology allows it to have both high mobility and safety, and move freely across a wide floor. There are 2 types of TUG: the box type and lift type. The box type is used for transportation of medicine and specimen mainly in American hospitals since its lid can be opened and closed with the use of a password, ID and fingerprint authentication. The lift type is used as transportation of school lunch, linen and waste. In Haneda Robotics Lab, TUG will work as an operation tool for airport staff carrying goods to airport stores in public spaces where a crowd of airport users come and go. Upon eyeing other possible uses as a carrying support tool for airport users, the initial verification will also be conducted.
SE-500iXⅡ
Amano Corporation
SE-500iXⅡ is an autonomous-running robot which can wash floor (with water). As you get the machine to memorize certain motions using your hands, it will enable it to replicate the same operation from the next time automatically. In Haneda Robotics Lab, we will check the efficiency of SE-500iXⅡcomparing it to a machine operated by person, in terms of cleaning areas, time, quality of cleaning and polishing whilst in operation at the airport. The initial verification of the SE-500iXII robots will also be conducted to observe whether the robot works properly and safely in the public space where a crowd of airport users come and go in the future.
Windowmate
NGP-FOTEC Co., Ltd.
Windowmate is a window cleaning robot consisting of two separate machines that autonomously hold and clean a window. Both of the two component machines have 4 permanent magnets (neodymium magnets) built-in, and thus never falls even when their power is run out. In Haneda Robotics Lab, there will first be a test to see whether the robot works safely and efficiently when cleaning glass surfaces of indoor spaces in the terminal building. As its safety inside the building is fully verified, another observation will be conducted to see if it is adaptable to outer surfaces of the building as well as high places. In future, there may be the day robots replace people in part of dangerous works including those in high places.

Transportation robots

CarriRo
ZMP Inc.
CarriRo is a platform-cart shaped logistics support robot which has two incorporated modes: driving mode and tracking mode. In the driving mode, it reduces the load on workers. In the tracking mode, it automatically tracks its operator. In Haneda Robotics Lab, we will examine its value as an operation tool for airport staff in various services including the carrying of goods to airport stores. Upon eyeing other possible uses as a carrying support tool for airport users, the initial verification will also be conducted.
INMOTION R1EX
A.M.Y.Creative Co., Ltd.
INMOTION R1EX is a personal mobility which has an autonomous balance control system that allows it to recognize the user’s movement exactly and keep their balance always. In the case of abnormal operation, the latest monitoring software allows the machine to decrease the speed gradually to stop. Its impact sensor also helps the machine stop automatically when detecting a certain level of impact on it. In Haneda Robotics Lab, there will be observation to see if the machine is safe enough for its surrounding environment while in operation in the public space where a crowd of airport users come and go. Other possible uses would also be found. Haneda Robotics Lab aims to provide it as a safe, convenient tool for airport users in the future.
TUG
TAKUMI Co., Ltd.
TUG is an autonomous delivery robot. The use of high sensing technology allows it to have both high mobility and safety, and move freely across a wide floor. There are 2 types of TUG: the box type and lift type. The box type is used for transportation of medicine and specimen mainly in American hospitals since its lid can be opened and closed with the use of a password, ID and fingerprint authentication. The lift type is used as transportation of school lunch, linen and waste. In Haneda Robotics Lab, TUG will work as an operation tool for airport staff carrying goods to airport stores in public spaces where a crowd of airport users come and go. Upon eyeing other possible uses as a carrying support tool for airport users, the initial verification will also be conducted.
UNI-CUBβ
Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
UNI-CUBβ is a personal mobility assistant robot. It allows you to move in various directions and positions freely as would people normally walk, just as you move your center of gravity bending the body. It is secure since it is a sitting ride that enables you to use your hands freely and have your feet touch the ground for your safety. It is also compact and is of shoulder width which makes it ideal for operation even amongst heavy crowds. In Haneda Robotics Lab, we will examine whether the robot is safe enough as an operation tool for airport staff as well as a transport method for airport users. There will also be observation of the robot to find other potential uses for it.
WHILL NEXT
WHILL, Inc.
WHILL NEXT is a product that an automatic stop function is newly added on WHILL Model A: a personal mobility which has several features such as omnidirectional front wheels, remote control system and electronic lock in addition to its prominent designability. In Haneda Robotics Lab, there will be a verification not only to confirm the machine is safe enough for its surrounding environment while in operation, but find other possible uses. The initial verification will also be conducted with the aim of providing it as a safe, convenient tool for airport users in the future.

Information robots

Airport Concierge CAIBA
INDY ASSOCIATES CO., LTD.
CAIBA is a remotely-controlled robot connected via the Internet. The machine traces the operator’s motion behaving just as we would expect. In Haneda Robotics Lab, we will examine if CAIBA itself can perform its jobs accurately as a guide for customers. This value verification would lead us to create a new environment where various kinds of staff including (but not limited to) staff working from home, elderly and/or, disabled staff and so on can continue their work in a wide range. We will also examine improvement of customer satisfaction thanks to the increase in staff’s skills as a result of longer involvement in their work.
Double2
BRULE Inc.
Double2 is a telepresence robot that the user can make a video call via the Internet while controlling the machine freely from remote locations. Different from conventional videophones, telepresence allows the user to feel as if the other party is around (projection of a presence). In Haneda Robotics Lab, there will be the initial verification to monitor whether Double2 can guide customers to their destination accurately in the public space where a crowd of airport users come and go. This value verification would contribute to creating a new environment where various kinds of staff including (but not limited to) staff working from home, elderly and/or, disabled staff and so on can continue their work in a wide range. At the same time, Haneda Robotics Lab also aims to improve customer satisfaction with the increase in staff’s skills as a result of longer involvement in their work.
EMIEW3
Hitachi, Ltd./Hitachi Building Systems Co., Ltd.
EMIEW3 is a humanoid robot which provides customer service and guidance. By itself, it approaches to help those customers who need assistance in public spaces and commercial facilities. In Haneda Robotics Lab, EMIEW3 will handle provision of information about stores and facilities, with the use of multilingual function as one of its features. We will conduct an experiment for improvement of the service quality as well as optimization of guidance procedures.
MINARAI
Nextremer Co., Ltd.
MINARAI is an AI-driven advanced dialogue system which is adaptable to various devices such as a robot, digital signage and tablet. Its concept is “cooperation between people and AI." MINARAI enables AI to replace with an operator when it has a problem continuing a conversation. In Haneda Robotics Lab, MINARAI will assist airport users showing directions with the use of sounds/images. If it is demonstrated that its voice recognition works accurately in the public space where a crowd of airport users come and go, there will be another verification to test joint operations of people and AI through remote video responses.
Pepper
SoftBank Robotics Corp.
Pepper is a personal robot which autonomously makes movements based on data perceived by its sensor. Its interactive communication skills allow it to provide rich service for customers. In Haneda Robotics Lab, Pepper will work as an attendant using 3 different languages: Japanese, English and Chinese. If it performs its basic operations accurately in the public space where a crowd of airport users come and go, there would be a verification of new service: staff’s remote responses via Pepper to those inquiries that it cannot handle by itself for example.
SQ-1H
SEQSENSE Co., Ltd.
SQ-1H is a security robot which is equipped with a special laser sensor (patent pending) as well as advanced artificial intelligence. Regardless of the time of day or night, the machine recognizes its surrounding environment (including lost property/unidentified objects) with the use of high sensing technology. SQ-1H also does not intimidate children and elderly people because of its adorable appearance. It would rather be integrated into people’s daily life even while in operation. In Haneda Robotics Lab, SQ-1H will guide customers around the airport. If it performs its basic operations accurately in the public space where a crowd of airport users come and go, the initial verification of SQ-1H’s AR (Augmented Reality) system would also be conducted for the realization of more effective guides.
Reborg-X
Sohgo Security Services Co., Ltd.
Reborg-X is an autonomously run security/guide robot. It is highly valued since the machine promotes the efficiency of guides as well as security though it does not require specialized staff to station for its operation. It has been introduced into 9 locations (including a theme park where it is used as part of an amusement attraction) throughout Japan so far. The machine is designed with safety as a top priority; when it approaches to people/obstacles, its automatic stop function works. Reborg-X keeps its no-accident record since its launching in 2015. In Haneda Robotics Lab, there will be a verification to confirm whether its autonomous running is safe enough in the public space where a crowd of airport users come and go. It will also be monitored how often the robot is used by airport users for its on-screen/audio assistance. In the future, it would be used as a robot which can guide and protect the user at the same time in public spaces such as airports.
RoBoHoN
Sharp Corporation
RoBoHon is a world-first portable mobile phone robot. In Haneda Robotics Lab, this robot phone will be in charge of guiding in the airport. It will answer questions asked in speech by users of Haneda Airport with the use of body language and images. In this experiment, we will examine how much it can recognize a speaking voice and announcements in the airport with background noise, as well as whether it can understand and respond to customers’ questions properly/accurately.

Exhibition booth

Panel exhibition of the robots selected in “Robot Experiment Project 2016” is held near the clock tower 6 at Haneda Airport Terminal 2. (Closed)

 

 

 

 

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03

About open recruitment


Outline of open recruitment

From September 20 to October 13, 2016,Haneda Robotics Lab advertised for robot technology as follows.

Robot Technology Specialization Areas

For this project, we will be recruiting robot technology specializing in the following areas: cleaning robots, transport support robots, and information robots. Our aim is to find the best robot technology capable of providing these types of functionality.

The most important factor for airport users is their safety and peace of mind. The Haneda Robotics Lab office will perform strict and impartial reviews to find robots that could be considered as fit for actual deployment. The reviews will be based on the prerequisite that the robots are useful to people, while helping to create a healthy environment where airport staff are able to work easily and with great enthusiasm.

*We shall accept proposals for robots that do not fit in with the required specialization areas, but which show great promise in terms of their practicality, implementation effectiveness, and future prospects.

Information Robots

We require robots capable of providing facilities and location information within Haneda Airport.

Ideally, the robot shall —either currently or potentially in the future— complement our concierge-style services, as well as possess functionality for the safe collection and storage of customer information such as demographics, ticket information, type of inquiry, sensor data, etc. without damaging the customers’ overall user experience. This collected data shall then be used for the management of stores and transport facilities in order to provide even better customer services.

Information Services
at Haneda Airport

There are twelve information counters at Haneda Airport’s Domestic Terminals 1 and 2 (six in Terminal 1 and six in Terminal 2). Also, our information staff, known as airport concierges, are readily available in various areas, such as near the stores and escalators in the departures floor and arrivals floor, ready to provide information to customers. In addition, Terminal 1 has a central information office, known as the Information Center, which is capable of responding to telephone inquiries. Haneda Airport’s domestic terminals cover a wide area and are used by a great variety of customers. Hence, information provision is one of our company’s most important services. Here we shall introduce you to Haneda Airport’s information services, based on interviews with members of ground staff.

Information Services Summary

Information counters provide different services depending on their location. In addition to providing general customer information, information counters sell travel insurance, as well as JR train and bus tickets. Hence, different information counters can have different numbers of staff and opening hours depending on the services they provide.

The information counters on the departure floor are open from 5.30am to 8.00pm to match the departure flights, with each counter serving an average of 30 customers an hour, approximately 500 customers per day. The information counters on the arrivals floor often tend to be busier than other information counters, as they also sell bus tickets. At peak times, they serve over 200 customers an hour, approximately 2,500 customers per day. Given the nature of airports, the information counters also serve overseas customers. In particular, they receive large numbers of inquiries in English, Chinese, and Korean. Inquiries in languages other than in English are dealt with by the staff using a translation app.

Inquiries from Japanese customers are primarily about airline boarding procedures, boarding gates, transfers between terminals, and location of smoking areas. In addition, information counters receive a large number of inquiries about the products sold at airport stores. Inquiries from overseas customers tend to center around use of the terminals and ways of accessing the city, whereas information about building facilities, and the like, is generally provided by the airport concierges.

Service Optimization

We optimize the delivery of our information services by using tablets, in order to save our customers’ time. Although our staff are able to respond to inquiries about our facilities, when dealing with very detailed inquiries, our information staff can use their tablets to search for documents stored on the cloud. Moreover, if the information is not available within our company’s documentation, the tablets allow them to perform searches on the Internet.

When dealing with customers in a language other than English, our staff uses a translation app; and when dealing with customers with hearing disabilities, they use an app that allows written communication. In addition, our company has implemented its own information desk app that allows staff to communicate with the Information Center for special callouts, such as announcements for lost children, and the like. Moreover, we have implemented an emergency notification app designed to send out emergency notifications, which also allows staff to share information such as closing times for stores, ATMs, and more.

Expectations of the Robot Implementation

Our information services deal with a wide variety of tasks, including customer inquiries, as well as travel insurance sales, ticket arrangements, telephone inquiries, and more. Hence, customers are sometimes required to wait before being served. In particular, if robots were able to deal with requests for directions during busy periods, the service would become much more convenient to use, thereby improving the overall quality of Haneda Airport’s information services. We expect that the languages needed for these services will be Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean.

Transportation Robots

We require personal mobility robots offering a high level of safety, capable of providing support for the transport of customers, employees, and security staff around Haneda Airport.

Ideally, the robot shall —either currently or potentially in the future— provide support for the transport of people, as we all highly-efficient functionality for their automatic return to a fixed location after reaching a destination, the ability to travel automatically to a departure gate, and the like.

Transport Support Services
at Haneda Airport

Haneda Airport is a vast site, where customers and staff alike suffer from a variety of problems when transferring from one place to another. We are currently considering a variety of initiatives for improving transport methods within the airport. Here we shall introduce you to Haneda Airport’s transport services, based on interviews with members of ground staff.

Airport Transport Services

In terms of customer transport, we currently rely on transport equipment such as elevators, escalators, and moving walkways. The airport layout has been designed so that people can use moving walkways in locations where they are required to travel long distances, such as when transferring from one gate to another. In addition, some airline companies provide electric cart services to help transport people.

Expectations of the Robot/Mobility Implementation

The most important factor when transporting people is safety. The robot must have a mechanism that is extremely easy to operate, preventing collisions at all times. It is also important for the robot to feature the right size and have the ability to maneuver tight corners easily, so that it can be used in the lobbies even during busy periods. From the operational point of view, it is also important for staff to be able to collect the robot automatically. Although people are currently able to use the moving walkways, children and elderly people are always at risk of falling —a fact that has always given us cause for concern. In addition, these walkways incur high costs in terms of maintenance, and the like; hence, the implementation of safe mobility robots to replace the walkways would be extremely useful, having a direct impact on improved service quality and reduced costs.

The airport suffers from problems with the transportation of not only customers, but also airport staff. In particular, our staff are required to conduct checks after a building has been closed, patrolling various areas in order to prevent disasters and crime, doing safety inspections on transport equipment, fire extinguishers, shops, as well as making sure that no customers have been left behind in toilets and nursing rooms. However, the airport is such a vast site that covering all areas can take a considerably long amount of time, causing a great deal of work for our staff. The implementation of mobility robots would help reduce this work, enabling us to provide high quality patrolling and security services.

Cleaning Robots

We require cleaning robots capable of sweeping, as well as cleaning the floors and windows at Haneda Airport.

Ideally, the robot shall —either currently or potentially in the future— gain an understanding on how dirt tends to accumulate across all areas of the passenger terminal, perform cleaning tasks efficiently, and maintain the terminal’s overall cleanliness. It shall take over general cleaning tasks, as well as possess functionality for collecting a variety of data while performing those tasks. The robot shall also have a flexible design that makes it possible to change the data to be collected as necessary.

Cleaning Services
at Haneda Airport

Based on reviews of international airports carried out by UK company Skytrax, Haneda Airport’s domestic and international passenger terminals have reached the number one position, for four consecutive years, in the Best Domestic Airport category for 2016. In addition, it has reached the number one spot in the World’s Cleanest Airport category. Our cleaning staff work incredibly hard every day to maintain the title of the World’s Cleanest Airport. Here we shall introduce you to the team’s many cleaning initiatives, based on interviews with members of ground staff.

Cleaning Services Summary

There are over 700 cleaning staff at Haneda Airport’s Terminals 1 and 2. On average, approximately 300 people per day undertake cleaning tasks at the airport. Our cleaning employees work during the building’s opening hours, from 5.00am to 12.00am, performing everyday cleaning duties within their allocated areas. In addition to everyday cleaning tasks, they do ad-hoc cleaning jobs as required. As airport staff perform their daily patrols around the airport, they notify the Cleaning Center if they discover any areas that need special cleaning. A cleaning employee is then dispatched to the reported area straight away.

Service Optimization

Our cleaning staff aims to complete ad-hoc cleaning tasks within 15 minutes of a problem being reported. In order to accomplish this, carts filled with cleaning implements are set around a variety of locations in the airport’s backyard, allowing staff to pick up the right cleaning tools from their nearest location. They have created a system that allows them to fulfill their daily scheduled cleaning tasks, as well as to tackle immediately any ad-hoc cleaning jobs that may be required at irregular times.

In addition, their cleaning implements are categorized efficiently depending on their material and the cleaning areas they are used for. As well as being able to tackle a variety of dirt, toilet cloths are categorized in great detail, featuring different colors and patterns depending on their target cleaning areas. For example, blue cloths for mirrors, yellow cloths for toilet bowls, pink cloths for washbasins, and so on.

In this way, some aspects of the cleaning process are managed systematically in order to increase efficiency. However, on the other hand, cleaning staff also make their own subtle considerations when fulfilling their jobs. For example, toilet cleaning is an area where our staff takes a lot into consideration. As they have to gain access while customers are actually using the toilet, they need to be able to choose the right timing and mode of entry carefully, in order to avoid causing discomfort to the customers.

In addition, customers quite often ask cleaning staff for directions within the airport, so they make sure that they are able to provide information about the location of the various facilities available. The most popular locations they are asked about are the smoking areas, observation decks, and ATMs.

Expectations of the Robot Implementation

At the moment, basically all cleaning tasks are carried out manually by a limited number of cleaning staff. The cleaning of fingerprint marks on doors and glass, wall surfaces and high places, the glass surfaces that cover large areas around the airport, as well as night-time cleaning, and the like, are all tasks that are almost impossible to complete as part of our everyday cleaning services. From this point of view, the use of cleaning robots would help further increase the level of cleanliness around the whole of Haneda Airport.

04

Haneda Robotics Lab
Contact Us


Japan Airport Terminal Co.,Ltd.

Address: Passenger Terminal Building 1,
3-3-2 Haneda Airport, Ohta-ku, Tokyo, Japan 〒144-0041

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