Aeroporti di Roma Ventures invests in Ottonomy after success launch of Ottobot at Rome Fiumicino International Airport

ottobot delivery robot in the airport terminal.
Ottobot delivers items directly to passengers at their waiting gates. | Credit: Ottobot

Today, ADR Ventures the new Corporate Venture Capital arm of Aeroporti di Roma (ADR), recently awarded a five-star airport rating, announces its initial venture investment with Ottonomy. After a successful proof of concept (PoC) established during the accelerator program in the Innovation Hub in Fiumicino airport, the autonomous delivery project became part of ADR’s long-term strategy aimed at maintaining the highest levels of service and enhancing passengers’ experience using cutting-edge technology and innovation.

“Our first investment is an additional step towards building the airport of the future, which will be more autonomous and passenger-centric. These are two characteristics that we have found in Ottonomy, both in terms of their team and technology. We are looking forward to a great future together. We believe that this partnership will open new opportunities in the industry and help transform the traveler experience in airports worldwide,” says Emanuele Calà, President and CEO of ADR Ventures.

Rome Airports partnered with leading corporate and strategic partners first of which, Plug & Play Tech Center in the development of “Runway to the Future,” a program set in ADR’s Innovation Hub, which is the first industrial accelerator inside an airport with senior mentorships of ADR’s Innovation Cabin Crew.

The Open Innovation Program of Aeroporti di Roma, called “Runway to the Future,” focuses on selecting international startups and aiming at a joint development for up to 8 months within the Innovation Hub directly located at Fiumicino airport; giving startups the chance to develop a PoC inside the airport and unlock a full roll-out solution.

While ADR Ventures aims to offer further support to startups, investing in their ideas developed within the Fiumicino Innovation Hub not only in economic terms but also in terms of know-how and skills, fostering the development and growth of new companies and entrepreneurs to accompany the digital transformation in the industry.

Ottonomy took part in the Hub’s acceleration program “Runway to the Future” in September 2022 and offered added convenience to travelers via autonomous delivery. Air passengers can purchase retail items and get them delivered right up to the gate in a digital and completely frictionless experience.

During the PoC, Ottonomy reached the following KPIs at Fiumicino International Airport:

  • More than 150 km traveled in terminals by Ottobots
  • Zero accidents at the airport
  • More than 300 clients used the service
  • Three minutes delivery time on average

“We are honored to continue to work with ADR Ventures and the Innovation Hub to further the impact and convenience in the airport environment using technology,” says Ritukar Vijay, CEO of Ottonomy. “ADR is truly committed to being a leader in innovation and bringing excellence and new experience to its customers. The partnership and a multiyear contract with ADR is at the forefront of the future of the travel experience for customers all over the world.”

To support the growth of the start-ups operating inside the Innovation Hub an investment arm, ADR Ventures, was created. This is the first initiative of its kind in the air transport sector in Italy aimed at financing the development of projects in areas with an elevated innovation potential; in synergy with the airport’s operational and strategic needs. ADR Ventures operates as an engine for the development of youth entrepreneurship, ensuring support for the most virtuous and prospective start-ups, accompanying them in the integration with the business and in the management of investment processes, accelerating the process of the business growth and the commercialization of the innovative solution devised.

Ottonomy joined the ADR innovation team during Plug and Play’s Travel & Hospitality & Smart Cities EXPO Day in Vienna to discuss the recent launch of ADR Ventures, as well as how innovation and cutting-edge technologies are redefining the passenger experience. Besides that, ADR and Ottonomy will showcase the Ottobot case.

During the expo, Aeroporti di Roma was awarded – for the second year in a row- the Corporate Innovation Award for its investment in identifying innovative solutions and supporting the growth of the start-ups operating inside its Innovation Hub that are transforming the aviation industry for a better future.

Ottonomy is a 2023 RBR50 honoree for the innovation of its Yeti delivery AMR.

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Written by

Mike Oitzman

Mike Oitzman is Senior Editor of WTWH's Robotics Group, cohost of The Robot Report Podcast, and founder of the Mobile Robot Guide. Oitzman is a robotics industry veteran with 25-plus years of experience at various high-tech companies in the roles of marketing, sales and product management. He can be reached at