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Hitchbot the Hitchhiking Robot Begins its Journey Across the United States

Hitchbot the Hitchhiking Robot Begins its Journey Across the United States

Picking up hitchhikers is generally not a recommended activity, but what if the hitchhiker is a cute robot with a good reputation? Meet hitchBOT.

This robot gets around and has traveled more places than most people I know. HitchBOT has hitchhiked across Canada and around Germany, and it’s also vacationed in the Netherlands. I’m guessing it has quite the collection of souvenir spoons. And the robot from Port Credit, Ontario recently embarked on a new trip!

On July 17th, hitchBOT hit the ground in Salem, Massachusetts and plans to travel through the United States and end up in San Francisco. It even has a bucket list of must-visit places.Watch:

As far as robots go, hitchBOT is pretty fancy. It has a camera, conversational software so you don’t miss out on chitchat while you’re giving it a lift, and a GPS tracker. The GPS keeps hitchBOT’s family updated on its location and progress and allows the world to follow along with its general location. The only real catch is that hitchBOT doesn’t move so it relies on the kindness of strangers to get it around from place to place. It’s quite the team effort to help the robot travel across the country.

The bucket list of stops includes Walt Disney World in Florida, Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, and the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC among many other places. With so many stops, it will take hitchBOT a while to complete the journey.

HitchBOT has a large extended family, but Dr. David Harris of McMaster University and Dr. Frauke Zeller of Ryerson University are the ones who came up with the idea of sending a robot on the road. HitchBOT has developers, engineers, and a social media team helping it stay on track.

You can keep tabs on hitchBOT’s journey on its website or on Twitter and Instagram.

Would you give a robot a lift? Let me know in the comments.

HT: Popular Science

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