Smart motorized luggage trolleys for intermodality areas

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The eTrolleys project aims at offering a motorized luggage trolley fleet to support passengers in airport terminals.

Have you ever left the Airport Arrival Area pushing a trolley full of luggage and sport with one hand and grabbing your kids with the other? Have you ever dropped an elderly in the Kiss & Fly Zone not knowing if she will make it to the Check-In Counter?

This project aims at offering to passengers eTrolleys available in baggage claim and drop-off areas without any coin needed. The built-in electric traction or propulsion will make the trolley perceived as light as if it was empty, when used either on a flat floor or on inclined moving pathways. Mobile devices could also be plugged on the eTrolleys for indoor navigation or to access additional digital services.

Enabling seamless interaction between the passenger and the eTrolley as well as smooth motion control require research beyond the state of the art. Design thinking and participatory design methodologies will be combined to elicit proper physical and digital affordances. Optimal impedance control schemes will be investigated to deliver the expected motions upon passenger actions on alternative force-sensitive handles. An ad hoc simulator will be designed to support the investigations and prepare validations with users. Adoption will be assessed iteratively in field tests.

This eighteen-month project is carried out by the React Group of Denis Gillet. It is sponsored by SBB, Genève Aéroport and an industrial partner.

Principal investigator Denis Gillet
Sponsors SBB-CFF-FFS, Genève Aéroport
Period 2019-2021
Laboratory REACT