Navigating through busy airports such as London's Heathrow Airport in London or the Amsterdam Airport Schiphol can be a challenging task for many air passengers. Good thing there's Spencer the robot to help lost passengers navigate several airports.

Researchers at the Örebro University developed the robot with Dutch airline KLM contributing a large sum to the research. KLM initiated the program due to the unwanted costs that were involved with novice passengers missing their flights just because they were lost in the airport.

"Navigating an airport is challenging, there is a lot of glass and a constantly changing environment in terms of temporary obstructions, such as parked luggage trolleys and people everywhere," says Achim Lilienthal, a professor of computer science and project leader of Örebro University's contribution to the research project.

Spencer will be tested in the busy Schiphol Airport starting Nov. 30. The researchers will make necessary adjustments after the initial test run. On Mar. 2016, European Commission representatives will be watching Spencer's premiere run.

Spencer will be equipped with necessary maps of the airport and it will check its current location through a number of sensors as well as range-finding lasers. The laser will help Spencer avoid crashing into various objects in busy airports and also estimate its proximity with known landmarks in the airport.

The researchers say that moving across obstacles such as people moving around the airport is not a problem for Spencer. However, the robot faces an issue to navigate pass the "temporarily permanent" items like parked luggage carts. The researchers add that they are working on a map representation to help Spencer adjust with these objects.

Researchers are also making sure that Spencer is able to understand human behavior and then act accordingly. Spencer is learning to go around groups of people rather than cutting through them. The robot will also keep track of passengers in groups who are asking for help to ensure they are following it and are not left behind.

The researchers of the robot say that the technology used to develop Spencer is not only useful in busy airports. Future versions of the robot can be used to interact efficiently with humans in the homes of seniors.

Check out the below video to see Spencer in action.

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