HitchBOT’s time in the U.S. lasted a mere two weeks because someone decapitated it

It never harmed anyone, but America ruined it.

HitchBOT, the hitchhiking robot, in Marblehead on July 17 as it was beginning its cross-country hitchhiking trip.
HitchBOT, the hitchhiking robot, in Marblehead on July 17 as it was beginning its cross-country hitchhiking trip. –Stephan Savoia / AP

The hitchhiking robot was on a mission to see the United States, hoping to make it from the east coast to San Francisco—but someone in Philadelphia cut its “life’’ short, according to the robot’s website.

HitchBOT, built in 2013 by two Candadian professors, survived off human interactions, being picked up and passed on from one person to another. It “died’’ when it was vandalized by humans overnight in Philadelphia.

In a message to his fans, HitchBOT wrote, “I guess sometimes bad things happen to good robots! My trip must come to an end for now, but my love for humans will never fade. Thank you to all my friends.’’

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A Canadian journalist tweeted a photo of the bot’s remains:

It lived a short “life’’ in the U.S., posing for plenty of pictures and passing through Boston to stop at Fenway Park, the Public Garden, and McDonalds. Though it didn’t get very far, HitchBOT also visited Salem, Gloucester, Marblehead, and New York City.

Before its two-week stint in the Northeast, which began in Salem on July 17, HitchBOT traveled around the world. It had crossed the entirety of Canada and Germany safely, but got the worst of America.

The robot’s creators want to let everyone know that the experience is not over, and that they’ll take this as a lesson moving forward.

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