Robot Set To Hitchhike Across Canada With (a Little) Help From Friends

This is an artist’s rendering of the robot that is set to walk across Canada this July.
This is an artist’s rendering of the robot that is set to walk across Canada this July.
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The phrase ‘don’t talk to strangers,’ just got a little more complicated.

According to Smithsonian Magazine a genderless robot called HitchBOTwill travel across Canada from Halifax to British Columbia alone, while interacting with fellow travelers in July.

HitchBOT was created by David Smith and Frauke Zeller, both professors following their dream to see a robot hitchhike, according to the HitchBOT website.

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HitchBOT is quite social media savvy and plans on Tweeting, Instagramming, Facebooking and journalingwith the help of its “family” on its trip.

Want to get to know the little traveler made of a plastic bucket and pool noodles? Read its bio on its website:

“As a robot, I enjoy listening to electronic music. I currently have Mr. Roboto on repeat but the Blueman Group and Kraftwerk are also amazing.”

It is also pretty smart and well-rounded:

“I graduated with a degree in astrophysics, and more recently with a degree in philosophy. It certainly is an interesting mix — that is what happens when a robot is influenced by both the sciences and the humanities.”

But, even a busy hitchhiking robot can enjoy some downtime:

“On my downtime, I can appreciate a good game of trivia and would never pass up any opportunities to bake desserts.”

According to The Toronto Star, the robot’s software will alert those who pick it up when it needs a charge and they can then plug it into the vehicle’s cigarette lighter. Once HitchBOT is charged, it will be placed back on the side of the road to wait for its next ride.

“The project leaders conceded there’s no telling what will happen once HitchBOT is out there on its own,” The Toronto Star said. “The robot could get trashed by drunk teenagers, left in a muddy ditch without power, or become the inseparable object of infatuation to a lonesome trucker who’s been on the road for too long.”

Smithsonian said there will also be written instructions on its body to help people understand how it works.

So, if you’re driving along and you see a little robot on the side of the road, treat it as you would want to be treated.