The hitchhiking robot called HitchBOT was conceived in 2013 as a collaborative art project by Dr. David Harris Smith of McMaster University and Dr. Frauke Zeller of Ryerson University. “Usually, we are concerned whether we can trust robots but this project take it the other way around and asks: can robots trust human beings?” said Dr. Zeller. “We expect hitchBOT to be charming and trustworthy enough in its conversation to secure rides through Canada.”
The robot travelled across Canada last year and captured worldwide attention. The 10,000 kilometer venture was completed in 26 days by a total of 19 rides. Today, July 17th, marks another adventure for HitchBOT as it begins a trek across the United States.
On its site, HitchBOT says, “I am shining my wellies to start my hitchhiking adventure across the USA. My journey begins at the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) in Salem, Massachusetts. From there, I hope to complete items from my hitchhiking bucket list with the help of strangers. My final destination is the Exploratorium in San Francisco, California. Only time will tell how long my journey will take me. I cannot wait to make new friends along the way.”
HitchBOT has a “hitchhiking bucket list” that it aims to complete on its journey. Some of the attractions include visiting a number of historic sites like Time Square in New York City; Millennium Park in Illinois; Mount Rushmore in South Dakota; and the Grand Canyon in Arizona.