Hitchhiking robot murdered in USA

retro_robot_custom_text_sign_13668Imagine designing a robot to look helpless and vulnerable and leaving it by the roadside reliant on the kindness of strangers.

That’s what a team from Ryerson University, Toronto and McMaster University in Hamilton did. They wanted to see if a robot could trust humans. (I thought the question was whether or not humans could trust robots. We all remember HAL don’t we?)

Hitchbot was solar-powered and fitted with a GPS tracker, had a dot matrix face which could smile and it could respond to simple questions.

It hitchhiked successfully across Canada arriving in Victoria, British Columbia in a canoe with members of the Songhee First Nation. It also made it safely across Germany.

However Hitchbot came to a messy end last week when it was found decapitatated in Philadelphia, theso-called city of brotherly love. It had made it from Salem in Massachusets to New York and New Jersey prior to its demise.

The designers haven’t filed a crime report so there will be no justice for Hitchbot. Time to start a campaign I think!

 

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