16:21 GMT +313 December 2019
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    After Successful Foreign Trips, Hitchhiking Robot Gets Vandalized in US

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    A hitchhiking robot came to a tragic end this weekend, perhaps the United States is not safe for strangers looking for rides. At least for the mechanical kind.

    After successful trips all over Canada and Germany, hitchBot decided to see the great US. Starting in Boston, hitchbot made it around Massachusetts and even the Big Apple. 

    The plan was for the robot to see the entire country but a stopover in Philadelphia proved to be its last. There, hitchBOt was attacked, taken apart with its arms ripped off. After logging thousands of miles in Canada and Europe, he didn’t even make it out of the Northeast of the US.

    “Unfortunately, hitchBOT was vandalized overnight in Philadelphia; sometimes bad things happen to good robots,” the researchers said in a statement. “The goal of the hitchhiking trip was to see how humans would interact with hitchBOT. And apparently the answer was ‘not well.’ HitchBOT has been around the world, including trips across the entirety of Canada and Germany without major incident. But America is clearly a hard land for our robot brothers and sisters.”

    hitchBOT could only move one hand to make the hitchhiking hand signal. Outfitted with a PC tablet, GPS tracker and camera, he could communicate online and also converse with those kind enough to pick it up for its next leg of the trip. 

    During its Canadian adventure, he visited national parks, went fishing and camping and attended a Native American pow wow. He even crashed a wedding attended by one driver but interrupted the bride's speech by announcing, 'I like to make friends'.

    “We know that many of hitchBOT’s fans will be disappointed, but we want them to be assured that this great experiment is not over,” the researchers wrote. “For now we will focus on the question “what can be learned from this?” and explore future adventures for robots and humans.”


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