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HitchBOT The Hitchhiking Robot Meets Grisly End In Philly

A hitchhiking robot that was supposed to make a cross-country trek of the U.S. met its demise in Philadelphia, less than two weeks into its trip.
HitchBOT The Hitchhiking Robot Meets Grisly End In Philly
Image from: Lauren O'Neil

According to Gizmodo, "Canadian journalist Lauren O’Neil has posted this photo of hitchBOT, which appears to show how he was found in Philly. His head is missing and his arms were ripped off".

via Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA --
A hitchhiking robot that captured the hearts of fans worldwide met its demise in the U.S.

The Canadian researchers who created hitchBOT as a social experiment told The Associated Press that someone in Philadelphia damaged the robot beyond repair early Saturday, ending its first American tour after about two weeks.

"Sadly, sadly it's come to an end," said Frauke Zeller, one of its co-creators.

The kid-size robot set out to travel cross-country after successfully hitchhiking across Canada in 26 days last year and parts of Europe. It's immobile on its own, relying on the kindness of strangers. Those who picked it up often passed it to other travelers or left it where others might notice it.

It started in Marblehead, Massachusetts, on July 17 with its thumb raised skyward, a grin on its digital face and tape wrapped around its cylindrical head that read "San Francisco or bust."

The robot bounced around the Boston area and was briefly taken to sea. One day, it took in a Red Sox game, checking off one of the items on the bucket list created for it. But hitchBOT never made it off the East Coast.

The creators were sent an image of the vandalized robot Saturday but couldn't track its location because the battery is dead. They said they don't know who destroyed it or why.

HitchBOT in happier times, last week in Boston.


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