With nothing more than a friendly smile hitchBOT explores the world one ride at a time. A free spirited robot that hitch-hikes his way from coast to coast one adventure at a time. Hailing from Port Credit, Ontario hitchBot last year crossed Canada in just 26 days. A total of 19 rides and 10,000 kilometres travelled thanks to the kindness of strangers.
Behind his smiling LED face hitchBOT by designed is a social robot whose personality stands out over his mechanical abilities. Constructed out of a small amount of electronics, a bucket, solar panels and bin lid hitchBOT lacks any form of locomotion and so is reliant on the help of strangers for most everything.
To create digital memories of the adventure hitchBOT is equipped with a GPS and camera that reports home every 20 minutes with a location and happy snap. A battery meter lets his friends know when he needs a little extra juice and voice recognition software along with his friendly personality programming keep conversations light and amusing. HitchBOT is a robot that’s good at small talk, a trivia buff programmed to be interesting.
This solar powered adventurer has now taken on one of the world’s great road trips crossing the USA from coast to coast. As with many travellers hitchBOT has put some thought into his latest journey, creating his own bucket list (not literally written on his bucket) of tasks to complete. However his fame may be slowing his progress with fans taking him to a Red Sox game and a quick trip out to sea but at least Boston should see hitchBOT charge up his batteries.
Assistant professor David Harris Smith (McMaster University Hamilton, Ontario) and the hitchBOT team, as all parents do, tried to prepare him for life in the real world as best they could. Unlike most parents however once he had learnt all he could they set him by the side of the road to find his way, make friends and accept rides from passers-by. Happy journey hitchBOT, let’s hope you make it out of America in-tact.