Athena's face says it all.
In a first, a robot boarded a commercial airline flight at Los Angeles International Airport. Called "Athena," she's clearly a discerning robot — she's flying Lufthansa.
Athena was accompanied by two scientists who are transporting her to Germany.
It is not uncommon for travelers with precious cargo to pay for an extra seat to be sure that they can carry it on the plane. Most of that equipment doesn't have a humanoid face, though.
"Athena" is checking in for her seat aboard @lufthansa on her way to Germany! [PIC]. Have you seen her yet? pic.twitter.com/6pYHiQLC9a— LAX Airport (@flyLAXairport) December 15, 2014
"Athena" will be accompanied by scientists. A “humanoid” robot has a head, arms, & legs. Photos to come when she arrives at LAX to check-in!— LAX Airport (@flyLAXairport) December 15, 2014
Athena's ride in the main cabin of the aircraft is not really different from that of a musical instrument or other professional equipment.
Mary Grady, the managing director at LA World Airports, tweeted photos of Athena going through security.
"Athena" the Humanoid Robot flys out of LAX. Off To Germany to learn to walk.pic.twitter.com/Ngxgk0jLIB— Mary Grady (@MGradyPIO) December 15, 2014
This is the first time a robot has flown as a paid passenger on a commercial jet, according to the airport. And if airlines have any say in it, it likely won't be the last.
Can you think of a better passenger than a robot?
Robots don't complain about legroom, don't kick the seat in front of them (or find use for a knee defender), and don't find it unconscionable that even a soda can cost $2 aboard some flights.
Tags: AIR TRAVEL, LAX, Tech, TRAVEL & LEISURE