Robot gets paid seat in coach class (and enjoys it).
This happened a couple of weeks ago and made some introductory rounds very briefly on various sites. Filed under light-hearted, it’s one of those oddities that is getting some attention. Prearranged attention for robotic researchers Alexander Herzog and Jeannette Bohg…
— LAX Airport (@flyLAXairport) December 15, 2014
It took them six months, contacting Lufthansa airlines in advance and even arranging for a passport for “Athena“, as the robot is named. The TSA too was notified in advance.
So why did a humanoid bother getting an airplane seat (actually it was two seats…)? It cost less for the robot to fly as a passenger than to be crated and sent via the cargo hold!
Despite the publicity garnered at LAX, it was not a mere publicity stunt, and quite nicely, Athena, dressed in a T-shirt and red Converse sneakers and programmed to flash a smile a people approached, was one welcome passenger!
Find out more about Athena and see all of the photos at the following sources:
Washington Post “Why a 6-foot-2 robot found itself cramped in coach on an 11-hour flight”
LAX on Twitter “‘Athena’ is checking in for her seat aboard @lufthansa on her way to Germany! [PIC]. Have you seen her yet?”
News to Share sources noted and linked in our brief above.