If you're traveling through Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) this holiday season, you could see service robots in action. Ottonomy Inc. last week announced that a fleet of its Ottobot delivery robots is now available at CVG. The company claimed that it is the first fully autonomous delivery of food, beverage, and lifestyle products in an airport environment.
“This launch is a testament to CVG's commitment to innovation and customer experience,” stated Ritukar Vijay, co-founder and CEO of Ottonomy. “We are able to provide a safe and secure experience through our Ottobots, executing automated contactless deliveries of food and beverage and retail products. COVID-19 has changed the way we all interact and relate to travel, making contactless delivery even more relevant and essential.”
Ottonomy said its primary focus is on helping retailers and restaurants automate indoor and outdoor contactless deliveries. The Santa Monica, Calif.-based company has won the Mobility Startup Award given by Plug & Play Accelerator and the Sustainability Product of the Year Award given by the Business Intelligence Group. It is backed by Connetic Ventures and angel investors.
Ottonomy began pilot last year
Ottobots navigate autonomously through crowds and unpredictable environments using Ottonomy's proprietary Contextual Mobility navigation technology. A suite of cloud-based tools makes the robotic fleet scalable and flexible, enabling management of mobile robots deployed throughout different areas of an airport, said Ottonomy.
More than 9.1 million passengers passed through CVG Airport in 2019, including a record number of local passengers. The airport said that as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, it still offers the most nonstop destinations and the lowest average airfares in the Cincinnati region.
CVG is diversified in both passenger and cargo operations, with an annual economic impact of $6.8 billion. It said it is the seventh largest cargo airport in North America, with Amazon Air's primary U.S. Hub and the DHL Express Global Superhub.
The original pilot of Ottobots at CVG started running in late 2020. The partners gathered feedback from participating passengers including details on the experience, cost, and desire to have autonomous delivery in airports. These live robot deliveries will gather additional research to further develop the program and user experience.
More Ottobots roll out for the holidays at CVG
Officially launched for the holiday travel season. Passengers can now order contactless delivery directly to their location in Concourse B of CVG Airport, delivered by an autonomous robot. Customers can select “grab-and-go” beverage and travel items sold at select retail stores operated by Paradies Lagardere via orderatcvg.com on mobile devices.
Customers will receive status updates on their phones, as well as a unique QR code, which can be scanned by the robot's top camera to open the secure compartment so they can retrieve their items. The entire delivery experience is contactless, noted Ottonomy.
“At CVG, we are redefining the travel experience by combining talent and tech to deliver innovative solutions,” said Candace McGraw, CEO of CVG Airport. “We've built a culture of innovation at the airport and are excited to partner with Ottonomy to test and advance this technology in a live, airport environment.”
Last year, CVG also began using Neo floor-cleaning robots from Avidbots.
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