Friendly hitchhiking robot destroyed in Philadelphia two weeks into a cross-country journey

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Friendly hitchhiking robot destroyed in Philadelphia two weeks into a cross-country journey

A hitchhiking robot trying to make its way across the U.S. learned the hard way that you can’t always depend on the kindness of strangers.

Only 300 miles into its journey from sea to shining sea, hitchBOT was found decapitated in Philadelphia.

HitchBOT was created by a team of communications researchers from Ontario and was designed to be a talking travel companion. The bot was immobile on its own and relied on strangers to pick it up and pass it along to other travelers or leave it in a place others may notice.  

“We want to see what people do with this kind of technology when we leave it up to them,” Frauke Zeller, one of the creators, told the AP. “It’s an art project in the wild — it invites people to participate.”

Last year the bot successfully hitchhiked across Canada in 26 days.

Unfortunately things did not work out so well this time around. HitchBOT was found beaten to a pulp on Saturday outside the City of Brotherly Love, just two weeks into its cross-country journey from Marblehead, Mass., to San Francisco.

“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 robot’s creators said in a statement.

It is still unclear why the robot was destroyed and who committed the crime.

HitchBOT was able to tweet out its final goodbye: “Oh dear, my body was damaged, but I live on with all my friends. Sometimes bad things happen to good robots!”