Lonely Planet Writer

Hitchhiking robot found dismembered in Philadelphia

After travelling across Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, and much of the US, hitchBot, the hitchhiking robot created by two Canadian professors, has met its demise in the City of Brotherly Love.

A magazine clipping featuring HitchBOT on its travels.
Magazine clipping featuring hitchBOT on its travels. Image by thekirbster / CC BY 2.0

The social media-savvy robot with its own Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts was discovered on Saturday in an alleyway in the Old City of Philadelphia apparently beaten and with its arms broken off. It is not known who vandalised the robot. Creators David Harris Smith and Frauke Zeller produced hitchBot as an ‘artwork and social robotics experiment’ and began his journey one year ago on 17 July by leaving him near a highway in Massachusetts wearing a ‘San Francisco or Bust’ message hanging around his chin. The bot’s final journey was supposed to be a US road trip taking in Boston, New York, New Orleans and Mount Rushmore among other destinations. Read more: nytimes.com