HitchBot, the robot that had hitchhiked its way across Germany, the Netherlands and across Canadawithout incident, survived just over two weeks and 300 miles in the United States after being vandalized beyond repair and abandoned on a street in Philadelphia.
The team behind hitchBot, the talking, tweeting, hitchhiking robot that tries to traverse continents on the kindness of strangers, had always thought of their project as a social experiment. After all the bad press and post-apocalyptic stories that questioned whether humans could ever trust robots, they wanted to pose the opposite problem: Can robots trust humans?
This weekend they got their answer. Robots can’t rely on us. Or at least, not Americans.
The friendly robot that had thumbed his way acrossGermany, vacationed in the Netherlands and made the improbable 3,600-mile trek across Canada without incident survived just over two weeks and 300 miles in the United States. On Saturday, its creators announced that hitchBot had been vandalized beyond repair and abandoned on a street in Philadelphia.