Can a Cute Robot Hitchhike Across Canada?

Hitchhiking can be a dangerous way to travel, but one robot is using it to go cross country. Appropriately named HitchBot, the talking droid is attempting to travel across Canada depending only on the kindness of strangers.

Hitchbot was created by a group of Canadian researchers as an experiment to test whether robots can learn to trust humans. He began his journey in Halifax, Nova Scotia and the plan is for him to eventually reach Victoria, British Columbia. Like many Canadians, Hitchbot can only communicate in English and a little bit in French.

Hitchbot set off on his adventure Sunday and has almost completed his second day on the road. Already, the robot has been snapping selfies with his drivers along the way. Below is a photo of some of the people who stopped to give HitchBot a lift:
The bot is outfitted with a number of abilities to make sure his trip is smooth sailing, including Wi-Fi, GPS, the Wikipedia API and speech recognition and processing.

So far, HitchBot has more than 12,000 Twitter followers and more than 13,000 likes on Facebook. According to his bio, his favorite movie is Wall-E and his favorite song is “Mr. Roboto” by Styx.

“I think my trip will lead to conversations about how robots and humans can live in harmony, and I hope that humans and robots can learn to trust each other as a result of my journey,” Hitchbot said in a statement.


Author: Katie Nelson
Source: Mashable