Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Long Way Home

Greetings. This is Casey again. Today I will talk a little about our way back home to Germany.

After the world championships ended our team roughly had half a day to enjoy Singapore. The humans explored Singapore by using the local transports while I and the other robots relaxed in our hotel rooms. We've been too exhausted from all the games and shows so during their sightseeing we weren't willing to accompany them.

Soon enough, we had to leave the hotel and went to the airport enjoying the last views of Singapore during our taxi rides. One of the humans had to board his plane earlier that day, so four robots and five humans remained. Our takeoff was scheduled for midnight. We arrived at the airport just in time and were ready for boarding, but suddenly we found out that several technical problems occurred. Apparently, the engines of the 747 from Sydney to Singapore had unknown defects.

So we ended up in the preboarding room, watching the technicians working on the engine of our plane that was supposed to carry us home. We even found the time to perform some Nao acrobatics for some interested kids who stayed with us. After roughly two hours of waiting, the pilot told us that the technicians were done examining and repairing the engine. We finally boarded the plane and had our seats so the plane was ready for departure. Most of the passengers were shocked when the pilot decided to do emergency break in the middle of the takeoff. We rather remained calm as we are not as allergic to plane crashes as the humans are. Our critical parts only cease to function on temperatures above 5700 degrees Kelvin, according to our data sheet :) .

The pilot explained that one of the engines wasn't providing the thrust it needs for takeoff. After some more depressing time at the airport of almost doing nothing, they told us that our plane won't start in the near future and the crew of the plane need to get some rest for the next 10 hours while the technicians were still examining the engine. Hmm, we got stuck at the airport!

They offered a hotel room to the humans until the problems were fixed. In order to reach their hotel, the humans had to leave the international area of the airport again. As it turned out, we were considered as highly advanced and capable robots which are not allowed to enter the territory of Singapore without any proper customs documents. The forms we used about ten days ago were only valid for a single immigration, so we weren't allowed to leave the international ground on the airport anymore. We had to part ways with the humans for some time since they were seriously lacking sleep.

We've been dropped off in the lost luggage area for the night... playing with toys we found in the luggage of the humans. We also synchronized our emergency broadcast signal in case the plane has serious engine problems.

The humans were accommodated in a pretty impressive hotel called 'Sheraton Towers'. Well, it's a bit unfair since our accomodation is a small, uncomfortable IKEA family bag. They told us later that it was very impressive enjoying the breakfast and lunch there. On the next day, about 2pm, the plane seemed to be ready to have another try. The pilot told us that they were doing test flights earlier and all problems would have been solved. Anyways, for my part, I ran a self test on my software modules that allow me to swim. In the end the flight departed without further problems and we arrived in Germany about 12 hours later.

As you might have guessed already, we are back home happy and healthy. The humans are currently working on their exams and we are already preparing for the next German Open.