Robot Shipping Question


So this year we’re going to be going to worlds and I was just wondering if anyone has had experience taking the robot in a carry on instead of luggage. We really don’t want it to break so we are considering taking it as part of carry ons. But at the same time, we don’t want it to get confiscated by the TSA. I’m not really familiar with airport security rules so I was wondering if anyone has had experience taking a robot as part of carry ons. Is it allowed? Have you had any trouble with airport security? What would be the best way to respond to questioning? Are there specific airlines the permit or don’t permit this in a carry on?

Thanks, Ankush.

I’ve transported quite a few LEGO robots, and I normally take them as carry-on, because I don’t want them to get lost. I’ve always made it a point to inform them I have robots in my bag. But don’t get upset if they don’t listen. You should EXPECT them to open up your bag. Be happy about that, and be ready to share your story about why you’re going to Louisville.

​Packing may not be easy, because the robot may be bigger than the size allowed, so make sure you know the exact dimensions that your airline will allow, and the biggest carry-on bag that you can take.

Also, put your batteries in a location that you can easily pull them out (in their own baggie). They’ve told me the scanner can not see through batteries. I usually take them out when they ask you to take out your laptop.

Where are you flying from?


Hi Steve,

Thank you for your answer. We will definitely be following your advice! I’m flying from Houston, TX as part of team 1926B.

Thanks, Ankush.

I recommend you call your local TSA. That’s what I did. We checked our robot in, but carried parts to rebuild it if something happened. We carried on the batteries and chargers. You MUST carry on the batteries. We also placed team stickers on the bags so that gives them somekind of heads up. We had no problems. On our return flight, Louisville TSA opened our bag with the batteries and did a scan/test for explosive residue and then we were on our way. Have fun at Louisville!

Good idea, I will surely do so. But, why must we carry on our batteries? I thought lithium batteries were not allowed to board the plane with lithium batteries, and they required you to put them in your luggage.

For lithium batteries, the rules AFAIK limit the amount of equivalent lithium to 8g (which is like 90Wh battery) for any spare batteries (that is, removed from their respective devices)
But VexIQ battery is NiMH and I believe the NiMH rules are much less strict, since NiMH is so much safer technology. At least in theory and as long as your local TSA understands the difference :wink: