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HitchBot the hitchhiking robot to travel across Canada

HitchBot the hitchhiking robot to travel across Canada

Posted by Christian Miranda on July 25, 2014

A hitchhiking robot is set to start off on a whirlwind adventure, attempting to hitchhike from Nova Scotia to British Columbia, and relying on the kindness of strangers to get to its final destination. Hitchbot is more of a collaborative art project and social experiment than a marvel of modern technology. The little traveller is about the size of a six-year-old child that was made using pool noodles, an old bucket, Wellington boots, rubber gloves, solar panels and a computerized "brain." David Harris Smith is an assistant professor at Hamilton's McMaster University who first came up with the idea of creating a collaborative art project centred around a hitchhiking robot. "Hitchbot is travelling across the country, and it’s collecting stories as it goes, too. So it will ask if they have a story that they’d like to tell about travelling or hitchhiking," he said.

"We would love for Hitchbot to have some adventures. Of course, I’ve hitchhiked across the country several times and for young people it used to be almost a rite of passage."

Along the way, Hitchbot will be sharing its adventures via social media. "It'll be sort of like having an out-of-control teenager in your car, taking pictures of you and posting them to Facebook." Like most teens, Hitchbot has a habit of talking back. It's programmed to recognize speech and has text to speech software installed. It even has access to Wikipedia where it can draw on conversation topics.

 

Photo by: CTVnews.ca

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