Hitchhiking evokes that classic slice of (mostly) long-forgotten Americana, but this weird, globe-trotting robot hopes to recapture the magic.
The team behind hitchBOT, a creative robotics project that has already been bouncing around in Canada and Europe, is officially on the open road in the U.S. The goal is to use the kindness of strangers to transport the ‘bot from Boston to San Francisco. The robot itself looks like the love child of Lost in Space’s robot and a laundry basket — but that lo-fi charm just makes it cooler.
The robot is equipped with GPS to track the journey, along with a camera and some AI software that allows it to have conversations while hitching a ride. It’s a very neat concept, and it’s awesome to think how far this thing has already traveled on nothing but the efforts of curious onlookers and word of mouth.
The project itself originated from Port Credit, Ontario. It’s currently being run by Dr. David Smith of McMaster University and Dr. Frauke Zeller of Ryerson University.
So, if you’re anywhere in middle America over the next few weeks, keep an eye out for this smiling little robot on the side of the road.
(Via Popular Science)