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At some point in the future, robots are going to be a tour de force in the world. In what capacity, we wont know for a while yet but maybe someday, theyll be able to make science fiction a reality and walk alongside us. Today is not that day, unfortunately. An experimental machine built to test humans as well as robots was damaged beyond repair, and can no longer continue its journey across the United States.
The aptly-named Hitchbot was the creation of a band of Canadian researchers, who sent the robot on its journey across Canada and parts of Europe. Notably, Hitchbot couldnt move on its own; while it could hold short conversations, record its travels with a camera, and spout random facts, it relied on the kindness of strangers to make it from point to point. The goal after its previously successful journeys was to have Hitchbot chauffeured to San Francisco. Unfortunately, its road trip stopped short in Philadelphia, thanks to reported acts of vandalism.
Its an unfitting end for an innocent robot, but there are still glimmers of hope. Hitchbots adventures vast and absurd as they may be are still well-documented, and the researchers plan to keep the project going regardless. Maybe next time, the social experiment will have a happier ending.