You did indeed read this correctly, a hitchhiking robot which was created by a team of intelligent minds with the aim of experimenting with artificial intelligence and human interaction, has become unstuck after entering and travelling through the US.
Below is a full length image of Hitchbot, which sounds like a futuristic Will Smith dating movie, was vandalised in Philadelphia after having spent a little over two weeks visiting sites in Boston, Salem, Gloucester, Marblehead, and New York City. Ironically all went well for the robot when it previously travelled through Canada; the US, on the other hand, was less kind.
The team behind this experiment has vowed to continue this innovative project and will also analyse the very nature of human and AI interaction, more details of any future plans will be detailed on the 5th August 2015.
The design of the robot may look slightly malevolent, but I do think this experiment has so far allowed for research to be undertaken within the effects of a machine has on the general public. The website for Hitchbot is written in first person as if the robot is narrating his story; this includes “Family” for the team which created it. As humans we have become accustomed to interacting with technology on a more human level, from Apple’s Siri to battle warzone robots which are being developed with the aim of “thinking” for themselves.
It will be thought-provoking moving forward when the day arrives for both calling a robot “Him or Her” rather than it and also how we interact with a non-human entity.