Don't be surprised someone mutilated that hitchhiking robot

This image was removed due to legal reasons.

Perhaps a shred of optimism persists somewhere in your rotten soul, and you held out hope for the hitchhiking robot that met its end this Saturday. Sure, hitchBOT made it across Canada without incident, but Canada doesn't count. HitchBOT made it 300 miles through its intended trip across the United States before its destruction in Philadelphia, answering the fundamental question the creators posed to CBC News:

"We want to see what people do with this kind of technology when we leave it up to them," said Frauke Zeller, one of the creators and an assistant professor in professional communication at Toronto's Ryerson University. "It's an art project in the wild — it invites people to participate."

The bot is (was) designed to carry basic conversation with whomever picked him up, and couldn't move without a human being physically lifting him up and placing him in the car. Now, he's dead, and it's unclear whether he's ever coming back.


And so the robot, ostensibly, lived to test the boundaries of human kindness, and it confirmed the hypothesis all should expect: humans are awful and we should never expect anything otherwise.

Michael Rosen is a reporter for Fusion based out of Oakland.

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