Hitchhiking Robot Is Executed in Philadelphia

Hitchbot Hitchhiking Robot

Philadelphia is known as the city of brotherly love – but apparently that love is only for people, and not for robots.

A child-sized robot from Port Credit, Ontario, Canada was built to rely on the kindness of strangers for transportation.  Earlier this week though, HitchBot finally met its demise in Philadelphia, PA after being vandalized by a local resident.

The hitchhiking robot was built by Canadian researchers who created hitchBOT as a social experiment. The goal of the experiment was to understand the relationship between man and machine.  Many who picked up hitchBOT often passed it to other travelers or left it where others might find it and do the same.

Unfortunately hitchBOT met its demise on Saturday after a Philadelphia vandal damaged the robot “beyond repair.” hitchBOT was found with his arms torn off and decapitated outside of Clay Studio on 2nd St. in Philadelphia. Video footage of the act of vandalism was later released showing just one man taking out some anger on the friendly hitchhiking robot.

“Sadly, sadly it’s come to an end,” Frauke Zeller, one of the robot’s co-creators, told the AP.

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HitchBOT was a friendly, immobile, but talkative traveling companion. The hitchhiking robot “could toss out factoids and carry limited conversation. A GPS in the robot tracked its location, and a camera randomly snapped photos about every 20 minutes to document its travels,” per the AP.

Regardless of its inability to move on its own, hitchBOT successfully traveled around The Netherlands and Germany earlier this year. In 2014, the robot crossed more than 3,700 miles in Canada without incident.

Through it all, this tin man seemed to keep a kind heart towards humans stating “my love for humans will never fade.”