Professor Frauke Zeller, HitchBOT’s co-creator and German national, is looking forward to the robot’s trek across her homeland, and the spirit of altruism she hopes it engenders, saying, “I think being helpful to something that needs help is something that is innate to everybody.”
Upon being given a ride, HitchBOT explains to the driver what its purpose is, and ask if it can be plugged in to charge its battery. The robot has built-in WiFi and GPS, so its progress can be tracked and the bot can post live updates to Twitter and Instagram.
In anticipation of the impending journey, HitchBOT tweeted on Monday:
Shining my wellies & packing my suitcase. I’ve been invited to Germany this Feb! I’m so excited; my family says I have ants in my pants.
Meet hitchBOT, this very colourful robot is making its way across Canada by hitchhiking.
Although this robot might be lacking some fashion sense, it does have a few tricks up its sleeve. It has twitter so that it can keep people updated on what it’s doing, a camera to take pics every half a hour and also GPS so that the creators can track it’s progress.
HitchBOT can also talk. It has speech recognition, can answer simple questions, make small talk and can also resite Wikipedia articles. It can be hard to get it to be quiet once he has started.
It’s creators said “We knew that sometimes … hitchBOT won’t be able to properly understand what people are saying. For these cases, we came up with the solution to let hitchBOT simply chatter away. We taught hitchBOT to say that sometimes it gets a bit carried away, and that its programmers could only write that many scripts, hoping for people to be patient.”
The creators of the hitchBOT were worried people might not look after it, but so far people have only been interested and some have had some fun with with it. Due to the generosity of humans, hitchBOT has travelled over 4000 miles and on that journey has gained a cape made from a plastic sheet, had a ‘meal’ of nuts and bolts and has also been pictured placed on the toilet and in a camp bed.
HitchBOTs final destination is the Open Space Artists Center in British Colombia, the creators don’t know how long it will take it to get to this destination but they do know it will have to eventually take a ride on a boat which could be interesting.
Thanks to CNN for supplying us with this information.