Cute Hitchhiking Robot’s Trek Cut Short Because Americans Are Awful

Photo: Courtesy hitchBOT Instagram.
This is why we can't have nice things. HitchBOT, an adorable robot hitchhiking his way across the globe, found his trip cut short this weekend. After successfully trekking through Canada and Germany, the bot was fatally vandalized after only two weeks in the U.S. of A.

was a social robotic experiment. With no means of transportation, hitchBOT relied on human kindness to get from Point A to Point B; it participated in social media postings to share its adventures. It is self-described as a "free-spirited robot who wants to explore the world and meet new friends along the way." The brainchild of David Smith, PhD, of McMaster University and Frauke Zeller, PhD, of Ryerson University, the simple robot housed GPS, 3G connectivity, video and audio circuitry, and power-generating solar panels encircling its body.
HitchBOT's goal was to reach San Francisco from Boston, and along the way it hoped to achieve 16 bucket-list items, including taking a selfie at the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles. HitchBOT got to achieve a few of its to-dos, like seeing Times Square and doing the wave at Fenway Park, before it was vandalized in Philadelphia.
Updates on Twitter and hitchBOT's website relayed the unfortunate demise of the wanderlust-filled robot: "hitchBOT’s trip came to an end last night in Philadelphia after having spent a little over two weeks hitchhiking and visiting sites in Boston, Salem, Gloucester, Marblehead, and New York City. Unfortunately, hitchBOT was vandalized overnight in Philadelphia; sometimes bad things happen to good robots." The robot's makers don't intend to press charges or try to find who vandalized poor hitchBOT. They only plan to learn from the situation and explore future robot-human adventures. To hitchBOT's vile defilers: The robots will remember this when they make their uprising. RIP hitchBOT.

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