A Hitchhiking Robot is Making its Way Across Canada [w/Video]
If you happen to be driving through Canada and you notice a slightly cylindrical, very digital hitchhiker on the side of the road – you should probably pick them up. It won't murder you, we promise. Meet hitchBOT, Canada’s first hitchhiking robot and the creation of Dr. David Harris Smith of McMaster University and Dr. Frauke Zeller of Ryerson University. The pair brought hitchBOT to life to gauge how humans and robots interact…and what better a test bed than on a trip across Canada!
hitchBOT’s epic journey across our neighbor to the north began in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on July 27, from the side of a westbound highway, and will end over 3,700 miles later in Victoria, British Columbia. It’s route? Well, that’s up to those who pick it up.
The amicable robot, which sports pool noodle arms and Wellington boots, is subject to the whims and wayward travels of those generous enough to give it a lift. But should you pick up hitchBOT, don’t expect it to be a quiet trip. The little guy can talk and even answer questions thanks to remote access to Wikipedia. It’ll even tweet interesting snippets about its journey.
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Most of the time, humans are concerned with whether we can trust robots, but in this case, the risk of course is whether hitchBOT can trust humans. So far, the answer is a resounding, ‘Yes!’
As of writing, hitchBOT has safely made it to British Columbia and gained quite a few friends in the process by the looks of it!
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