Canada’s hitchhiking robot is brutally decapitated after two short weeks in the US

America and hitchBOT didn’t get along.
America and hitchBOT didn’t get along.
Image: Reuters/Paul Darrow
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Setting out from Boston, hitchBOT wanted nothing more than to see America, really see it, from sea to shining sea. Unfortunately, the friendly thumbs-upping robot got its head bashed in after getting only as far as Philadelphia.

Lauren O’Neil, a journalist with Canada’s CBC, tweeted a photo of what looks like the poor state the robot was found in.

The Canadian researchers who developed hitchBOT summarized what had happened on the robot’s website:

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. Unfortunately, hitchBOT was vandalized overnight in Philadelphia; sometimes bad things happen to good robots.

The robot hitchhiked its way across Canada, Germany, and the Netherlands. But it seems hitchBOT was not ready for the USA, despite its high hopes:

They were keeping a map of hitchBOT’s progress from Boston to San Francisco. It’s a little depressing to see just how little distance was covered.

hitchBOT didn't make it out of the Northeast.
hitchBOT didn’t make it out of the northeast.

The researchers’ next move? “For now we will focus on the question ‘what can be learned from this?’ and explore future adventures for robots and humans,” they write. Future robot overlords might not look too kindly on the hitchBOT attack.