09 June 2023, by Victoria Séveno

In order to relieve the physical strain and workload on Schiphol employees, the biggest airport in the Netherlands has announced that it’s trialling new robot technology designed to take over some baggage handling responsibilities. 

Dutch airport criticised for physical strain on workers

Just this spring, Schiphol Airport was criticised for not doing enough to limit the physical strain placed on some of its employees, and had been given a deadline of two years to implement new systems and technologies to fully mechanise baggage handling.

While Schiphol said the two-year deadline was “ambitious”, management said it was committed to “make every effort” to automate baggage handling “as soon as possible”. Now, the main Dutch airport has announced it’s testing two new robots: one capable of lifting suitcases, and another which slides suitcases along the baggage conveyor belt used to load planes. 

Schiphol robots to help automate baggage systems

The lifting robot is being tested in collaboration with handling agent Aviapartner, and Schiphol hopes it will be able to lift at least 80 percent of suitcases. While a new development at Schiphol, the technology itself isn’t new; instead, it’s an adaptation of a robot that has previously been used in various industries, including in bakeries. 

The sliding robot, on the other hand, is currently being tested by KLM, and helps to push luggage off the conveyor belt and further into the belly of the aircraft during boarding. In addition to these two robots, Schiphol Airport also plans to test a number of other automated systems to help alleviate the strain on its workers.

Thumb: StudioPortoSabbia via Shutterstock.com.

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