Watch: Robot called Chip helps Air NZ passengers check-in at Sydney Airport




A robot called Chip is helping Air New Zealand passengers at Sydney Airport check-in at the departure gate this week.

The airline is partnering with Commonwealth Bank in a five-day experiment at Sydney Airport using the humanoid robot.

Chip was acquired by the bank which established a social robotics team in its Sydney Innovation Lab in late 2016.

Chip interacts with and assists Air New Zealand passengers checking in, and at the gate prior to boarding. 

A touch screen on the robot's chest allows customers to complete their check-in.

By holding up their boarding pass to Chip's eyes, the robot can let them know if they're in the right place.

Air New Zealand chief digital officer Avi Golan says the partnership and experiment with Commbank and Chip "is another way we are pushing the boundaries to ensure we remain at the forefront of technology which will allow us to further enhance the experience we offer our customers".

Tiziana Bianco, General Manager Innovation Labs at Commonwealth Bank, says social robots can bring to life information that is not particularly engaging when delivered by a screen. 

"People interact with them in a very social and sometimes emotional way, which means they can enhance experiences in ways that other technologies are unable to do," Ms Bianco said.

"Chip is one of the most advanced humanoid robots in the world, and is perfect for our work aimed at understanding how humans and robots interact in dynamic social spaces," she said. 

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