Hitchhiking Robot Lasts Two Weeks Before Philadelphians End Its Robotic Life

So, apparently a hitchhiking robot only lasted two weeks in the US before it met its demise. Probably because no human, especially overweight US citizens, wanted to lug a small human-sized robot with unruly limbs in and out of their car.

hitchBOT made it all the way from Boston to Philadelphia begging this blogger to ask, why would you start a journey in the city that the “Stuff You Should Know” podcast taught me has the highest amount of road rage only to be followed by more cities of angry people? Why would you even conduct this study in America? We can’t have nice things. Give the nice things to the Scandinavians; they can handle them!

The goal of the trip was to send hitchBOT across the country all the way to San Francisco and see how humans interact with a hitchhiking robot along the way. Well, I think we learned.

hitchBOT’s bender in flip-a-delphia left him looking a little rough; gone were his rain boots, electronics, and face, gone was his binding, he could have been maced. This is what a robot hangover looks like.

hitchBOT did make it to Boston, Salem, Gloucester, Marblehead and New York City, before getting its ass beat in Philadelphia. The company states that even though hitchBOT’s life is over, the experiment is not. They are going to focus now on what can be learned from the experiment. Probably don’t send a robot into a low income neighborhood? Eh, maybe?

hitchBOT is a Canadian robot and has survived trips through Canada and Germany, but neither of those countries compare to the Philadelphia of which It’s Always Sunny has painted us a picture. Again, the Northeast? Why not start in Portland? This sounds like a Portland kind of thing.

The Canadian researchers who built hitchBOT plan to repair him and put him back on the road. If hitchBOT could talk, he’d request maybe they look into a rental car, or perhaps even air travel; hitchhiking is a horse he’d rather not get back on.

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