When it comes to airline travel, nothing is easy. You have to arrive hours early to fight long lines for just about everything and throngs of people moving in every direction (and normally staring at their phones instead of where their rollaboard is pointed). Even getting a coffee is complicated. If the urge hits while you’re sitting at your gate, you can’t just pop over real quick for a hot cuppa. You have to grab all your luggage and haul it to the nearest coffee kiosk, where there will inevitably be another line.
But at the Incheon International Airport just outside Seoul, South Korea, they are trying to ease much the inconvenience of airline travel, and they are doing it with robots. With a new app-driven ordering system, air travelers can order a coffee and it will be brought directly to them via delivery robot.
As reported by Tasting Table, the robot known as Air-Dilly was launched at Terminal 1 on the Incheon International Airport to bring food and drink to those waiting to jet away. Air-Dilly has already been in use in hospitals and offices around Korea, but this marks the first time it will be used in an airport. Using an app called Baemin, airport visitors can order items from Baskin-Robbins, Paris Baguette, or Dunkin’, which will then be delivered to their location using one of the six robots. Currently only operating in Terminal 1 between 9:00am and 5:00pm, the robots can deliver the items “to people 820 feet from the participating businesses,” per Tasting Table, and have a total carrying capacity of 37.48 pounds.
Though still in a trial phase, the plan is to increase the number of delivery bots as well as locations around the airport if everything goes smoothly.
As of now, the Air-Dilly can only bring you coffee already made, but one can’t help but hope to see an Air-Dilly expansion to include one of those weird robot baristas from the Winter Olympics. And just think, with a Baskin-Robbins on the offer sheet, how great would it be for the Air-Dilly to prep a tableside affogato for you while you’re waiting for your plane to taxi in? This is the delicious robot future I’m here for.
Zac Cadwalader is the managing editor at Sprudge Media Network and a staff writer based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.