DIA to Decommission Giant Baggage Robot

By on August 28, 2005

Denver International Airport has decided to shut down their automatic baggage handling system, once thought to be the future of airport operations.

Ten years ago, the new Denver International Airport marched boldly into the future with a computerized baggage-handling system that immediately became famous for its ability to mangle or misplace a good portion of everything that wandered into its path.

I remember that the new baggage system was big news when the airport opened, on two fronts. It was heralded as a marvel, and it delayed the opening of the airport since it wasn’t completed on time. The thing moved bags at about 30 mph and it had a habit of flinging them off of sharp corners and into walls when it first opened. I remember seeing news footage of big lineman-sized baggage handlers with padded shields who had been stationed at the problem areas to knock errant bags back onto the conveyer belts.

Via SlashDot.



  1. We might know that a lot of bags were destroyed, but we will never know how much money and how many resources were squandered on a solution that was intended to replace people. I wonder if the system was fundamentally flawed (UPS and Fedex use something similar and it works for them) or if it was bureaucratically bungled to death.

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