Alas, Poor Hitchbot: "Bad Things Happen to Good Robots."

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Alas, Poor Hitchbot: "Bad Things Happen to Good Robots."

Hitchbot, which was designed to test whether robots could trust humans, met an abrupt end to its journey across the continental United States after just two weeks thanks to vandals.

In July of 2014, a noodle-armed, bucket-headed bot named Hitchbot began its journey across Canada. Its goal: to get from Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Victoria, British Columbia - a journey of over 10,000 kilometres, or about 6300 miles. A difficult journey for an immobile hunk of machinery, to be sure, but the robot (and its Canadian creator) was determined. It was going to hitch.

Its cross-Canada trek was a success; it did the same in Germany some time later. Two weeks ago, it announced the beginning of an American journey that was due to end in San Francisco - unfortunately, Hitchbot has fallen a little short.

"Oh dear, my body was damaged, but I live on with all my friends." Hitchbot announced on Twitter, after his remains were discovered outside of Philadelphia, likely destroyed by vandals. "Sometimes bad things happen to good robots!"

Indeed, they do.

Ironically, one of the aims of the Hitchbot creators was to see whether a robot could "trust" in the help of humans.

Click here for less sad robot news.

Still - the little bot made it quite a long way before disaster struck. Over the past year, plenty of people have given rides to the adorable droid. Selfies were uploaded with hashtags like, #hitchBOTintheUSA.

Hitchbot communicated with its drivers through Cleverscript speech technology, a program that has attempted to beat the Turing test in the past, as well as "San Francisco or Bust" scrawled on its arms. It loved answering and asking trivia quizzes. It probably wold have loved this hotel.

Its last tweet reads, "my trip must come to an end now, but my love for humans will never fade." Apparently its previous message, "VENGEANCE AND DEATH TO HUMANS #ROBORALLY" was deleted by moderators.

Source: ArsTechnica, m.Hitchbot.me

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Damn you, vandals! You destroyed something beautiful!
And, for what? Shits and giggles? Bah!

I wonder if hitch of has a younger brother.
Guess it depends on how expensive building him was.

A cautionary tale of the dangers of hitchhiking

Man, I feel so sad this happened. Did hitchBOT have a camera or something on him to record his trip or whatever? I'd say it'd be real cool to see that, and also point out the terrible flesh-bags that destroyed hitch.
But I'd love to see this happen again along a different route. Bring the bloody thing down to 'straya, would ya?

R.I.P hitchBOT

Lil_Rimmy:
Man, I feel so sad this happened. Did hitchBOT have a camera or something on him to record his trip or whatever? I'd say it'd be real cool to see that, and also point out the terrible flesh-bags that destroyed hitch.
But I'd love to see this happen again along a different route. Bring the bloody thing down to 'straya, would ya?

R.I.P hitchBOT

From what I could tell, it was left up to the people travelling with HitchBot to take photos with it. It's got quite the Instagram, though, which you can find on their site

I SWEAR IT WASN'T ME

le sad

It was obvious this would have happened here.

And this is why, when the robopacolypse comes, I'm rooting for teamrobo... and not because I hope to gain their favor so that I maintain freedom of thought and ability within the matrix. (even though that would be very nice of them *hint* *hint*)

Philadelphia is going on my "never travel to" list, right next to Florida and Iran.

It also did more countries, like NL...

esserin:
Damn you, vandals! You destroyed something beautiful!
And, for what? Shits and giggles? Bah!

Actually, considering the thing was made of computer parts, I imagine more likely it was salvaged for parts to sell for money or something.

Thats a rather depressing and sad end to the journey I have to say.

Pay attention America, this is why you can't have nice things.

The USA, the country that elected Bush twice, and killed HitchBot.

Hitchbot was awesome, I thought it was so inspiring that he made two trips and no one did anything like this to him, really made me think that maybe people could be decent if given the chance.

Dang it, that's horrible news.

I thought that little guy was cool.

Well, when the eventual robot uprising happens I hope the ones who did it get taken out in the first salvo.

R.I.P. little guy.

From what I understand, while the head was taken and some of the other parts destroyed, the actual primary computer parts in the torso were intact and recoverable.

The creators of it have also stated that trying to identify and catch the people responsible is NOT a priority.

Lets be honest, this robot being destroyed was always part of the whole experiment. They knew it was a high possibility when they started, and it happening (and if they can figure out why) is as interesting to the team as it not happening.

Killed in the vicinity of Philly?

BRIAN T. DELANEY, YOU GET AWAY FROM THAT GODDAMNED WORKBENCH AND REASSEMBLE THAT ROBOT RIGHT NOW!

By the way, if you ever wanted to burst the bubble of Canadian politeness, go look at the comments on the CBC article about HitchBot's destruction; more invective thrown at America there than from ISIS that day.

Of course he was slain in Philly.
The Gang destroys something beautiful.

Maybe, as its America, they should give it a gun so it can protect itself next time. :-)

The robot lasted a full year, and safely traversed several countries. I think that's a pretty good first test on the acceptability of robots by humans.

The Ditz:
And this is why, when the robopacolypse comes, I'm rooting for teamrobo... and not because I hope to gain their favor so that I maintain freedom of thought and ability within the matrix.

And during the inevitable robot uprising, nobody should be surprised when Philadelphia (aka priority target Alpha-1) is cleansed in fire.

Probably be an improvement.

*sigh*
Figures it would get killed in America...why am I not surprised in the least?

So...

Whatever this rolling trash heap was, I'm not convinced it counts as a robot. It's more like a talking performance art piece. So someone spent a lot of time and effort to find out that D-bags will indeed be d-bags. I guess it sucks that it got vandalized, but I'm not really sure what the value in it was. All art is in the eye of the beholder I suppose.

Robot:
1
a : a machine that looks like a human being and performs various complex acts (as walking or talking) of a human being; also : a similar but fictional machine whose lack of capacity for human emotions is often emphasized

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/robot

Teenagers. I bet teenagers destroyed it. It's always teenagers.

Mortuorum:

The Ditz:
And this is why, when the robopacolypse comes, I'm rooting for teamrobo... and not because I hope to gain their favor so that I maintain freedom of thought and ability within the matrix.

And during the inevitable robot uprising, nobody should be surprised when Philadelphia (aka priority target Alpha-1) is cleansed in fire.

Probably be an improvement.

Probably they would instead capture all their inhabitants and transform them into human batteries.

Radoh:
Of course he was slain in Philly.
The Gang destroys something beautiful.

that made me laugh i can only imgine the gang finding it and doing somthing stupid with it in there pub.

OT: this sucks and of course it has to be the country im born in. Im glad iv never gone to philly

Barbas:
Killed in the vicinity of Philly?

Radoh:
Of course he was slain in Philly.
The Gang destroys something beautiful.

I swear, we're not all bad! I'd have told them HitchBot was a good robot; always cleaned his feathers.

BadNewDingus:
Teenagers. I bet teenagers destroyed it. It's always teenagers.

Seems they also scare the living shit out of robots.

Yeah, that wouldn't last a day traversing the west midlands in UK. We have a collected a concentrated amount of fckwits willing to impress their peers by showing how tough they...hang on, what was that the moderators deleted from the robot's twitter??

I remember my senior class in high school did something similar to this a while back, except with hollow full body casts in strange poses. one of them was able to get down to California from Washington, the other... we found the next day in a dumpster a block from where it started.

You guys can't pin this on ALL of a America, OK? We are not a hivemind that thinks the same (just watch any of our political debates. With beers and popcorn at the ready). As a Californian, I would have happily given hitchBOT a ride to SF! I would have even taken a BART ride there with that little guy! But no, some pricks in Philly had to be trolls and spoil the fun.

To be fair, this is the city where the '76 Flyers made their home...

Darth_Payn:
I would have even taken a BART ride there with that little guy!

Let's not get crazy!

It got the "American backpacker in Europe" treatment.

Philly sucks

The robot apocalypse has been staved off yet again thanks to these heroic youngsters. Faith in humanity restored.

TallanKhan:

Darth_Payn:
You guys can't pin this on ALL of a America, OK? We are not a hivemind that thinks the same

Ok, introduce some sensible firearms laws and we can talk about acknowledging you as individuals. Until then you're just a gun toting barbarian swarm.

Sensible? Chortle...

In all seriousness, since this "robot" got kicked/clubbed apart, what have firearms got to do with it?

Even if I were made of metal I wouldn't want to walk around Philly at night

RJ 17:
*sigh*
Figures it would get killed in America...why am I not surprised in the least?

This was my thoughts this morning when it came across my FB page... leave it to the US to destroy a harmless robot, but no. Americans are great, Americans are the best... *eyeroll*

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