Dr. David Smith from McMaster University and Dr, Frauke Zeller from Ryerson University are the ‘guardians’ of a charismatic robot named hitchBOT. While this isn’t their first robotic child, they also have one named kulturBOT that travels to different art museums and venues, hitchBOT is certainly their most popular as of late.
On July 27th 2014, hitchBOT began its travels of the world, starting in Canada. Her (I’m just assuming since it has a female voice, but who knows, maybe hitchBOT is new age and doesn’t gender identify) voyage was supposed to take her around the world but she only made it through 4 different countries: Canada, Germany, Netherlands and America. Since robots can’t drive hitchBOT was relying solely on the kindness of humans by hitching rides to each of her destinations.
This began as a social experiment to see just how kind the human race is, and Americans failed. Okay, it’s not fair to use such a blanket statement, there are millions of good Americans, however, if anyone thought for a second that hitchBOT could get through America unharmed, they’re kidding themselves.
Like anyone would expect, hitchBOT made it clear across Canada unharmed, because who are we kidding, have you ever seen an angry Canadian? They’re all getting high and in the event of a car accident will be the one to apologize to you even if you were the one at fault. After Canada, hitchBOT made its way through Germany and then the Netherlands, again, unharmed. In fact, in hitchBOTs travels, she partook in many selfies, attended a wedding and even drove in a sports car, a bus, and a bike in Germany. Then hitchBOTs travels took her to America where things went south.
HitchBOT was in the US for two weeks and had already made it to NYC, which was one of the stops on her bucket list, but then met her demise in Philadelphia.
Here is the video that is going around that many believe is of the man that destroyed the defenseless hitchBOT.
If by some chance the man that did this is reading this article, I would just like to say to you, why? What did hitchBOT ever do to you? Do you feel like a big man now that you have destroyed a wonderful social experiment and proved to the world that not even a robot can walk through the streets of America safely? Not cool man, not cool. I hope that when robots do finally take over the world, they come for you first.
In the meantime, the family of hitchBOT have since retrieved and reassembled her and she is in good health. On their website they state that they don’t want to find or press charges against the man that did this (darn) and that they will be exploring future adventures for hitchBOT after mulling over one question “what can be learned from this”. Well, I can answer that for you, don’t trust America with your robots well being, have you seen our murder rates lately?