Have you heard of HitchBOT? S/He’s the weirdly adorable robot that is hitchhiking his/her (based on voice, I would say her – but what do I know about robot genders?) across Canada this summer – and he was just dropped off by her ‘family’ (read: super smart scientists who apparently spend their time making adorable robots to give to strangers?) on the side of the road in Halifax – with the hopes of making it all the way to Victoria, BC – just by relying on rides from friendly passers-by. It’s ok HitchBOT – my dad kicked me out of the car and made me walk home once too.
HitchBOT was created by scientists at McMaster and Ryerson – as part of a research project to study the way people (read: drivers on the trans Canada) interact with technology. Personally, I think making him the silliest, most adorable little robot is going to skew those results. If they really want to see how people interact with technology, they should make her occasionally delete all of their almost-finished essays, refuse to turn on when you need to use the GPS, and have her battery suddenly jump from 19% to 2% without warning. But if it’s the boredom, family fights and moose sightings (read: having to stop driving for 45 minutes to wait for a moose to get off of the road) that they’re after, well – then HitchBOT seems to be the best way to go.
She takes photos, tweets, he even has an Instagram – where you can follow the journey.
I’m wishing HitchBOT all the best on his/her journey across Canada (except you, Newfoundland) – and hopefully there will be some fun, weird adventures along the way. With everything going on in the world, it’s refreshing to get some news that’s about nothing but the kindness of strangers.