HitchBOT’s tour has come to it’s final journey in Philadelphia on Thursday. The child-sized robot had a good run across Canada and some parts of Europe has been sadly vandalized and the damage is beyond repair, this is according to it’s creators. It was just over two weeks where he got to visit sites in Boston, Salem, Gloucester, Marblehead, and New York City. There will now be a lot of sad fans and according to it’s creators the experiment is not quite over.
‘according to a statement from the team monitoring the robot’s travels’.
For now we will focus on the question “what can be learned from this?” and explore future adventures for robots and humans.
Before this unfortunate incident, the robot was expected to travel cross-country.
It was 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.
The journey started on July 17, 2015, in Marblehead, Massachusetts, onto the Boston area and even took in a Red Sox game.
The creators were sent an image of the vandalized robot Saturday but could not track its location because its battery was dead, according to The Associated Press.
“Sometimes bad things happen to good robots,” the statement said.
Also, the robot had been designed as a talking travel companion, throwing out random factoids.
“We want to see what people do with this kind of technology when we leave it up to them,” Frauke Zeller, one of the creators and an assistant professor in professional communication at Toronto’s Ryerson University, told the AP. “It’s an art project in the wild — it invites people to participate.”
The robot, wearing yellow wellies, attended a wedding in Germany, had its portrait painted in the Netherlands and was making big plans for its cross-country tour of the U.S., including taking in some jazz in New Orleans and snapping a selfie with the Hollywood sign. The creators of the robot did not say whether the machine would try to complete its bucket list in the U.S., but promised that they would keep the project alive.
“We know that many of hitchBOT’s fans will be disappointed, but we want them to be assured that this great experiment is not over,” they said in a statement.