Researcher develops automated security kiosks for airports and border crossings

July 12, 2017

A Missouri University of Science and Technology researcher as developed an automated screening kiosk to alleviate concerns about safety and wait time at U.S. airports and border crossings, according to Missouri S&T's news and events website.

Dr. Nathan Twyman, assistant professor of business and information technology at the university, has been working on the kiosk since he was a Ph.D. student at the University of Arizona. The kiosk uses an algorithm of "yes" or "no" questions presented by a computer generated avatar to assess the potential threats passengers may pose.

Twyman said the screening can be completed in under four minutes with a 90 percent success rate.

When the avatar finishes asking questions, the machine reports its findings to the customs and border patrol officers on duty. Risk is based on a color-coded basis.

A Transportation Security Administration investigation in 2015 found that TSA agents failed to identify weapons and explosives 95 percent of the time. Homeland Security "Red Teams" posed as passengers. In 67 of 70 instances, investigators got through security with weapons or mock explosives without being detected.

When travelers enter the U.S. on an international flight, they normally go through a customs and border protection area where an officer screens them. Depending on their answers, the officer asks one or more questions. The existing process can be subjective, Twyman said.


Topics: Airport Kiosks, Government, Interactive / Touchscreen, Tourism & Travel, Transportation / Travel


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