Are you into weird hitchhiking Canadian robots? Because you’d probably love to travel with this…thing.
Introducing hitchBOT. It talks. It tweets. It has a bucket for a torso. And it’s hitchhiking from Halifax to British Columbia. Using a combination of artificial intelligence and speech recognition, hitchBOT bums rides from motorists as if it were a real-life annoying person. Instead, it’s just an annoying robot.
hitchBOT launched its 4,000 mile journey last week, and its numerous adventures have been documented on Twitter, Instagram, and a website charting its path, thanks to GPS technology.
— hitchBOT (@hitchBOT) August 1, 2014
As of this weekend, three men have given hitchBOT a ride. And before you get any pervy ideas, be aware that this robot is gender neutral. All of the humans have treated hitchBOT relatively well so far. One person bought it a stuffed animal and fed it metal screws and motor oil for dinner. Another couple donated a plastic cape to hitchBOT in order to protect it from the infamous Canadian weather. And many others have been kind enough to give hitchBOT a recharge via the cigarette lighters in their automobiles.
“People seem to be rather intrigued with hitchBOT, and take very good care (of it),” said [co-creator David Harris Smith], a communications and multimedia professor at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, and [co-creator Frauke Zeller], a communications professor at Ryerson University in Toronto, in a statement e-mailed to CNN.
“We have even seen hitchBOT lying in a camping bed under a blanket, and sitting on a toilet,” they said, “so people certainly have fun with it.”
Sure, sure. It’s all fun and games…until hitchBOT decides that it wants to drive, right?
I’d love to see this experiment attempted in Harlem.
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