Popular hitchhiking robot destroyed in Philadelphia, may be revived

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Courtesy of hitchBOT.

TORONTO — The Canadian talking and tweeting hitchhiking robot that met its untimely end in the United States over the weekend might be given another chance at life.

The Canadian researchers who created hitchBOT as a social experiment say someone in Philadelphia damaged the robot beyond repair on Saturday, ending its brief American tour.

They say they don’t know who destroyed it or why. But co-creator Frauke Zeller says many children who adored the robot are now heartbroken.

Zeller and co-creator David Smith said Monday that they’ve been overwhelmed with support and offers to revive the robot.

The robot was on a hitchhiking, social experiment adventure in the U.S. after trekking across Canada and parts of Europe last year. Strangers helped hitchBOT travel from place to place while checking items off its bucket list.

The robot was designed to traverse continents on the kindness of strangers and could toss out factoids and carry on limited conversation.

The Facebook page for the robot released a heartfelt statement Saturday, saying:

Oh dear, my body was damaged, but I live on back home and with all my friends. I guess sometimes bad things happen to good robots! My trip must come to an end for now, but my love for humans will never fade. Thank you to all my friends

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

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