Hitchhiking Robot Gets His Journey Cut Short
America has once again embarrassed itself on an international stage. Last weekend a small traveling robot with a big heart had his dream of traveling across the United States and collecting stories and experiences crushed (literally) when he was decapitated in Philadelphia.
HitchBot is an experiment created by Dr. David Smith of McMaster University and Dr. Frauke Zeller of Ryerson University. The robot is suited up with GPS and a chat program, and the plan was that he was going to make friends and log his journey via social media. Here’s the embarrassing part: Hitchbot was destroyed in Philadelphia after only a 14-day journey that started in Salem, Massachusetts. However, the robot was able to successfully travel all the way across Canada, Germany, and the Netherlands without being murdered. In the United States, he didn’t fare so well.
Here’s the statement released by the hitchBot team last weekend:
“hitchBOT’s trip came to an end last night in Philadelphia after having spent a little over two weeks hitchhiking and visiting sites in Boston, Salem, Gloucester, Marblehead, and New York City. Unfortunately, hitchBOT was vandalized overnight in Philadelphia; sometimes bad things happen to good robots. We know that many of hitchBOT’s fans will be disappointed, but we want them to be assured that this great experiment is not over. For now we will focus on the question ‘what can be learned from this?’ and explore future adventures for robots and humans.”
HitchBot’s team also urges people not to get angry over the destruction of the robot, but to remember all the cool memories he made! We’re still pretty torn up about the fact that hitchBot is never going to make it to the West Coast and get to see what all the California hype is about. Imagine the Sundance film that could have been made about hitchBot tying together a string of seemingly unconnected lives across the country.
I can’t believe what happened to this awesome little robot :(