HitchBOT had access to a range of trivia within its memory, and its speech recognition software allowed for limited conversations with travelling companions.
Although it managed to enjoy a Red Sox game, and even take a trip out to sea – both accomplishments on the robot’s bucket list – researchers who were tracking hitchBOT using Global Positioning System were emailed a photograph of the robot after it had been vandalised.
During the two weeks in the US, the solar-powered hitchBOT was seen in Boston, Gloucester, Marblehead and New York City. Yes, it’s the home of the Liberty Bell and all that, but it’s definitely not the City of Brotherly Love that its nickname would suggest.
His next journey was a tour of America, beginning on July 17 in Salem, Massachusetts, with a goal of reaching San Francisco’s Exploratorium museum.
It had already hitchhiked across parts of Canada, the Netherlands and Germany as part of an experiment to chronicle the interaction between humans and robots. Sadly, they do not know who vandalized the little guy, but they also have no intentions of pressing charges or find out exactly who did it. As mentioned above, they are trying to see where they can go from here.
MSN News on August 3 reports that robot has many predetermined destinations it is trying to get to and when approached it asks the person for help getting there.
HitchBOT, the hitchhiking robot that captured the hearts of fans worldwide, is dead, vandalized and torn apart by hoodlums just two weeks after it entered US territory.
“The head, as far as we know, is missing”.
“Sometimes bad things happen to good robots”.
Its co-creators said hitchBOT is beyond fix. The friendly robot had recently embarked upon a trip across the US, but this was cruelly cut short by vandals.
A picture of the destroyed HitchBOT was sent to its creators who started this journey with a robot as a “social experiment in human attitudes towards robots”. “For now we will focus on the question ‘what can be learned from this?’ and explore future adventures for robots and humans”, they said. The brainchild of David Smith, PhD, of McMaster University and Frauke Zeller, PhD, of Ryerson University, the simple robot housed Global Positioning System, 3G connectivity, video and audio circuitry, and power-generating solar panels encircling its body.