Robot Hitchikes Across Canada, Parts Of Europe. Starts U.S. Trip But Ends Tragically In Philadelphia
HitchBOT was created with a single purpose: to travel across different countries by hitching rides to explore the world and to make friends along the way.
Created by Dr. David Smith (McMaster University), and Dr. Frauke Zeller (Ryerson University), HitchBOT traveled more than 6,000 miles across Canada. Hitchbot also traveled in Germany and the Netherlands.
It started its U.S. on July 16, where it trekked across Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, and New Jersey. As in other countries, the people who came across Hitchbot and gave him a ride took pictures and shared Hitchbot’s adventures in social media.
Unfortunately, bad things can happen to anyone, including robots.
Vandals destroyed Hitchbot while he was in Philadelphia. His supporters sent back his remaining parts to his creators.
In Hitchbot’s website, Dr. Smith says, “As researchers, we wanted to know, ‘can robots trust humans?’ and knew there would always be the possibility that hitchBOT would be damaged or stolen. Even though it did end badly for hitchBOT, we’ve learned a lot about human empathy and trust - everything we’ve learned will be borne out in the resulting research and used in future planning for hitchBOT’s adventures.”
Hitchbot is survived by his sibling, KulturBot. KultureBot travels from one art gallery to another, and tweets photos of artwork and the art shows.