Robot misses contest after being banned from plane

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by -Cp, Apr 14, 2005.

  1. -Cp
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    -Cp Senior Member

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    EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — Students from the University of Evansville were unable to compete in a contest in Connecticut because airline security refused to let them board a plane with a small robot they built.
    Students Bruce Rahman and Chris Miller and engineering professor James Reising had planned to fly to Hartford, Conn., on Saturday for the Trinity College Firefighting Home Robot Contest, an annual competition with more than 100 teams from several countries.

    Employees of Northwest Airlink, a regional division of Northwest Airlines, would not let them take the computer-controlled robot on board.

    Rahman said he called the airline more than a week before the flight to find out whether there might be problems with the robot and was told to just come early to have it inspected. He and Miller said Northwest employees were concerned that motors attached to the robot's wheels and magnets inside the motors could disrupt an airplane's electronics.

    The college students arrived slightly more than an hour before the flight was scheduled to depart. But Philip Reed, vice president of marketing for Northwest Airlines, said that was not enough time for an inspection.

    "If they had come out to the airport even 45 minutes earlier, it wouldn't have been an issue," he said. "(Northwest employees) could have called headquarters and spoken to a hazardous materials specialist."

    Contest director Juliet Manalan said no other teams reported similar travel troubles.

    "One of the things we want to learn from this is, how do we make sure this never happens again?" Manalan said. "We had teams from all over the U.S., and countries like Singapore, South Korea, Israel and Canada, and they all flew to the contest with their robots without any problems."



    http://www.usatoday.com/travel/flights/2005-04-14-robot-flight_x.htm
     
  2. dmp
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    dmp Senior Member

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    Robots have rights too! Where is the ACLU???
     

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