When it comes to hitchhiking, it can be dangerous for both the person hitchhiking and the driver picking them up, since neither party is able to ascertain whether the other could pose as a threat. However we guess some believe that people in general are good and nice, which is why they don’t mind hitchhiking or don’t mind picking up hitchhikers.
But here’s an interesting question: would you be willing to pick up a hitchhiking robot? Wait, what? Yup, you read that right because in a collaborative art project conceived by Dr. David Harris Smith and Dr. Frauke Zeller, they have created a “hitchhiking, tweeting, and trivia-loving robot” called hitchBOT that will attempt to hitchhike 3871 miles across Canada.
The hitchBOT will come with speech recognition and chatbot capabilities, along with the ability to post onto social media. When picked up by a presumably kind driver, it will let them know that its end-goal would be Victoria, British Columbia. According to its creators, the end result of the hitchBOT’s design won’t be anything fancy.
As you can see in the image above, it will be a mash of different components, like GPS, 3G, audio, video, and solar panels used to charge it. So what’s the point of this robot, you ask? Well its creators wanted to see if robots could “trust” human beings. They believe that through this, they will be able to learn more about social robotics and how to interact and approach robots.
It sounds intriguing and in the first entry in hitchBOT’s online journal, it writes, “My journey’s success is reliant on those kindhearted souls that I’ll hopefully meet along the way.” It is expected to begin its journey on the 27th of July, starting from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design.