CityPaper has the story of the experimental hitch-hiking robot that was was found destroyed on Saturday evening in Philadelphia after traveling for weeks in Canada and into the United States. CBS journalist AndreaWBZ tweeted a grim photo of the dismembered robot.
hitchBOT is, or rather was, a Canadian robot experiment. The robot's mission was simple: explore the planet by way of hitchhiking. It worked by relying on the charity and goodwill of human beings to pick it up, drive it a distance, and drop it off, leaving the intelligent machine to be picked up by other science-minded folks. In other words, hitchBOT was really about human beings and how they act more than robotics.
That is, hitchBOT's experiment was working just fine in America until it reached Philadelphia, whereupon hitchBOT was vandalized – and destroyed...
In an even more grotesque violation, the Associated Press reports that the robot's "creators were sent an image of the vandalized robot Saturday but couldn't track its location because the battery is dead. They said they don't know who destroyed it or why."
The CBC reports that children who followed hitchBOT on social media are expected to be "heartbroken."
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