HitchBOT has sadly been destroyed while travelling through Philadelphia.
The hitch-hiking robot, which is the same size as a small child but unable to move on its own, relied on the kindness of people to get around. It was created as part of a social experiment revolving around our attitudes to technology.
HitBOT made it all the way across Canada last year, and also wandered through Germany and the Netherlands. The friendly robot had recently embarked upon a trip across the US, but this was cruelly cut short by vandals.
A picture of a decapitated HitchBOT lying on a dirty street was posted on Twitter over the weekend. Its arms had also been ripped off.
A GPS tracker and an in-built camera that took pictures every 20 minutes would usually relay its location, though its precise whereabouts remain unknown as its battery has run flat. Unlike the famous Johnny 5, HitchBOT simply wasn’t advanced enough to fight back.
Unlike Johnny 5, HitchBOT doesn’t have the chance (or means) to seek vengeance
HitchBOT’s creators Frauke Zeller and David Harris created it as a social experiment before setting it free to travel on its own.
“HitchBOT’s trip came to an end last night in Philadelphia after having spent a little over two weeks hitchhiking and visiting sites in Boston, Salem, Gloucester, Marblehead, and New York City,” they said in a statement.
“Unfortunately, HitchBOT was vandalized overnight in Philadelphia.
“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. For now we will focus on the question ‘what can be learned from this?’ and explore future adventures for robots and humans.”
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HitchBOT, which currently has almost 50,000 Twitter followers, also managed to comment on the murder.
“Oh dear, my body was damaged, but I live on with all my friends. Sometimes bad things happen to good robots! My trip must come to an end for now, but my love for humans will never fade.”