A robot has traveled thousands of miles across Canada by hitchhiking, or accepting rides from strangers.
The bucket-bodied robot, called HitchBOT, has a built-in GPS system, and it can ask and answer questions. It managed to charm its way across 3,700 miles since it began its journey in Nova Scotia on July 26.
Along the way, it went to a powwow, a rock concert and a wedding.
HitchBOT, created by a team of Ontario-based communication researchers, reached its final destination last week in Victoria, British Columbia, where it received a traditional aboriginal canoe greeting.
The team programmed HitchBOT to track its adventures online and take pictures to post on social media. It didn’t take long for HitchBOT to become a celebrity. Many of the people who offered it a ride already knew about it before encountering the bizarre contraption.
“Social and traditional media have really ensured that HitchBOT is well known,” said David Smith, the robot’s co-creator.
Matthew Berry of Alberta said some friends picked up the robot while heading to a wedding in British Columbia.
“It was good fun,” Berry said. “We took it out onto the dance floor to, well, do the real Robot.”