- Pakistani girl who died in Texas shooting 'wanted to experience American culture'
- Man lynched in MP for ‘bull slaughter’: Economic reasons, not vigilantism, behind assault on duo, say villagers
- Kerala Nipah outbreak HIGHLIGHTS: People advised against eating fruits lying on ground, fruit bats suspected carriers
A hitchhiking robot that captured the hearts of fans worldwide met its demise in the U.S.
The Canadian researchers who created hitchBOT as a social experiment told The Associated Press that someone in Philadelphia damaged the robot beyond repair on Saturday, ending its first American tour after about two weeks.
The kid-size robot set out to travel cross-country after successfully hitchhiking across Canada in 26 days last year and parts of Europe. It is immobile on its own so gets from place to place by relying on the kindness of strangers.
- Walking robot maker prepares to unleash its dog-like machine
- WATCH: Scene straight out of ‘Transformers’? This car turns into a robot in 60 seconds!
- Jeff Bezos takes robot dog for walk; photo looks like scene straight out of science fiction movie
- Robot system can pick and sort objects: Study
- Hitchhiking robot embarking on coast-to-coast tour across US
- Hitchhiker robot charms Canada
It started in Marblehead, Massachusetts, on July 17 with its thumb raised skyward, a grin on its digital face and tape wrapped around its cylindrical head that read “San Francisco or bust.”
It bounced around the Boston area and was briefly taken to sea. One day, it took in a Red Sox game. But hitchBOT never made it off the East Coast.
The creators were sent an image of the vandalized robot Saturday but cannot track its location because the battery is dead. They said they don’t know who destroyed it or why. But co-creator Frauke Zeller said many children who adored the robot are now heartbroken.
hitchBOT was designed to be a talking travel companion and could toss out factoids and carry limited conversation. A GPS in the robot tracked its location, and a camera randomly snapped photos about every 20 minutes to document its travels.
During past travels, the robot attended a comic convention and a wedding, and it had its portrait painted in the Netherlands. It once spent a week with a heavy metal band.