Travellers on a recent Emirates flight from Dubai to Riyadh were accompanied by a different type of passenger, after the Dubai-based airline was tasked with transporting one of the world’s most advanced humanoid robots.
A first for Emirates, the Arabic speaking humanoid named Ibn Sina, travelled as a First Class passenger on the flight accompanied by Dr Nikolaos Mavridis, assistant professor of computer science at the United Arab Emirates University College of Information Technology in Al Ain where Ibn Sina was developed, along with two of his assistants.
Able to verbally interact with people, Ibn Sina stunned fellow passengers as he was checked in at Emirates’ dedicated First Class check-in counters and relaxed in Emirates’ First Class lounge prior to boarding his flight.
The transportation of Ibn Sina required countless hours of planning and input from multiple Emirates Group departments to ensure the humanoid was cleared for travel by the Dubai Police Authorities, the Dubai International Airport and Emirates’ safety team.
“The planning and integration of numerous Emirates departments is testament to our commitment to give every passenger, human or not, the best level of care and service possible. Ibn Sina embodies the forward thinking and innovative ethos of Emirates and we were honoured to have him fly with us,” said Mohammed Mattar, divisional senior vice president of airport operations.
“This was certainly an interesting challenge for the team however through careful planning Ibn Sina was successfully transported to his destination and we look forward to many more trips of the same nature,” he added.
Ibn Sina safely made the trip to Riyadh where he was the key exhibit at a conference and exhibition on higher education.