Hitchhiking Legend HitchBOT Meets Tragic End in Philadelphia
Image via YouTube
Philadelphia takes umbrage with slumping Philly sluggers, dropped Eagles passes and, it seems, adorable hitchhiking robots.
CNN’s Todd Leopold reports on the sad demise for a robot that just wanted to see the world — had it been gifted with sentience and the ability to feel desire.
In the end, hitchBOT, a robot created to study the relationship between humans and technology, met a gruesome end in Philadelphia, a city that once booed Santa.
For those who haven’t been following along, hitchBOT, which resembles a bargain bin Bender from “Futurama,” visited places like Canada, the Netherlands and Germany.
All the while it safely hitchhiked across the respective nations with strangers picking it up and putting it in their cars without damaging the robot.
That’s when it came to America, land of the free and home of the robot party poopers, apparently.
NBC News reports on the ill-fated journey:
HitchBOT’s creators took a nice bow on Twitter:
And the team went into depth on the hitchBOT website: “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.”
One possible lesson might include driving around Philadelphia if you are of the cute and cuddly robot variety. Humans are still encouraged to stop by the wonderfully vibrant city; just keep any robot talk to a minimum.
The website continues that it will not seek out the party who destroyed hitchBOT. Rather, they “wish to remember the good times, and we encourage hitchBOT’s friends and fans to do the same.”
That hasn’t stopped some from allegedly faking surveillance video of hitchBOT’s demise.
Looking at a perfectly half-full glass, we have to commend our fellow primates who embraced the experiment without completely destroying a robot.
Congratulations, you illustrated that most humans can interact with technology rather well.
Then there are some of us who crack an iPhone screen the same day we get it.
More by Gabe Zaldivar
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