(PCM) So much for the City of Brotherly Love! hitchBOT, the hitch-hiking robot, created by researchers to see how humans would interact with a hitch-hiking robot sadly met his demise in Philadelphia, PA after just beginning his planned cross-country journey in Boston, MA. The final destination for his cross-country trip was supposed to be San Francisco, CA, however he never made it further than the North East region of the country.
The experiment concluded after the researchers discovered that hitchBOT has been vandalized beyond repair during his visit to Philadelphia. He made successful visits to areas in both Salem, MA and New York City, as well as, previous trips across entire countries such as Canada and Germany without any incidents. Seems the U.S. is just not ready to welcome a hitch-hiking robot with open arms.
In a statement the research team that built hitchBOT say: “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.”
An image of just how badly hitchBOT was vandalized was posted by a Canadian journalist named Lauren O’Neil, but it has since been taken down. You can see from the image below that it appears that hitchBOT’s head and internal computer wiring have been completely torn apart. Surprisingly the culprits left his arms and famous “wellies” intact during the incident. If anyone has any information about the person who vandalized hitchBOT, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is some talk about the researchers repairing hitchBOT and sending him back out on his journey, but currently no official plans have been given the green light. Video of the the man who is responsible for hitchBOT’s destruction can be seen here! So sad and such a senseless violent act!