Industrial - Bachelors


Stralis, a new aircraft manufacturer, has requested that an innovative and timeless solution be developed that aims to improve the current inflight customer experience. Stralis aims to create a service that connects regional areas to major cities with minimal cost to customers. A.I.C.S.R (Automatic Inflight Customer Service Robot) aims to be the solution to this problem by providing users with an attractive, on-demand, easy-to-use, technologically advanced, personal experience that focuses on improving meal service and the comfort of passengers aboard.


Currently, a significant portion of customers believe that the current customer service methods aboard aircraft need to be improved. It was found that customers not only complained about being served the incorrect meals, staff attitudes or the struggles of moving down the aisles when the food cart is in service but also the fear of upsetting crew members when asking for service. Furthermore, the current serving methods are outdated for these modern times of advanced technology and on-demand service. Something needs to change to improve customer service and excite customers to fly.



Research was conducted in both primary and secondary forms. The secondary research delved into researching topics of inflight customer service, human-robot interaction, social robotics and the acceptance of self-service technology. These topics helped identify customers’ complaints about current problems with the serving methods aboard aircraft, the potential for humans and robots to work together, the acceptance of robots amongst society and the significance of self-service technology. The primary research was two surveys sent to both customers and aircrew staff. 12 of the customers with a various range of times travelled in a year responded to the survey and 1 pilot responded. This research provided great insight into the potential of developing and the potential for successful implementation of a robotic service assistant.


introducing a.I.C.S.R. – (automatic in-flight customer service robot)

Current customer service methods and practices are outdated and problematic often causing problems for customers and air staff. With surveys conducted an overwhelming 78% of participants (12) found that the current service methods did not meet their needs and needed to be updated. A.I.C.S.R aims to rectify this by providing an on-demand easy to use personalised service experience that comes to the user’s aid without assistance and does not take up the aisles.

Manufacturing Considerations

The internal structure is made from extruded ABS plastic which is then wrapped in injection moulded ABS sheets. ABS was chosen for its lightweight but strong rigid structure. The roof stem is comprised of extruded aluminium as it is lightweight but will also have the necessary strength required to hold the body of the robot and content within. The design has 4 inbuilt LCD screens two rectangular billing screens on the top and an interactive visor located in the body of the robot. Several off-the-shelf components have been incorporated within the design. These are speakers, RAM sticks, motherboard and CPU package, batteries and ultrasonic sensors. The weight of the robot was the main concern as it is a serious concern within the aviation industry.


1. The user utilises the infotainment screen in front of them to order service
2. The user selects a service option
3. A signal is sent to the robot which is sitting in a hibernation state
4. The robot receives the signal and heads to the exact seat that the order was called from
5. Once the user arrives the visor screen will communicate to the user creating a personalised experience. These faces will change throughout the conversation
6. When the user takes an item from one of the food storage tiers an RFID scanner located just under the visor will scan the RFID-tagged food item that has been taken. Once the item has been scanned it will automatically show up a total cost on the above display screen.
7. If the passenger is unhappy with the price they can put the item back and the running total will adjust on the screen
8. When the user is ready to pay they will be able to tap their card to pay at any moment and the robot will leave


A.I.C.S.R runs along a rail that is integrated into the roof of the designated aircraft. This was intentionally designed to keep the robot as far off the ground as possible allowing users to pass rather than forcing them to squeeze down aisles on top of other customers when the robot passes. There are ultrasonic sensors placed in the front and back of the unit to allow the robot to detect incoming users and rise above them. Furthermore, the roof stem allows the robot to lower itself to an appropriate service height to serve customers.

Calen Stephen Sayers

Calen is passionate about the automotive industry with expanding interests in aviation and robotics. What drives Calen is his desire to create designs and products that will not only attract people but leave an impression on them. He enjoys and is proficient in CAD for both concepts and final designs with a desire to expand his knowledge and expertise in this area.