Hitchhiking robot one motorcycle ride away from final destination

HitchBOT has already travelled 3,700 miles since its journey began last month

A HITCHHIKING robot is awaiting a motorcycle ride to Vancouver as it approaches the end of its solo journey across Canada.

The Ontario-built ‘hitchBot’, created by a team of communication researchers, has already travelled 3,700 miles since its hitchhiking journey began in July from Halifax, Nova Scotia.

David Smith, one of the robot’s inventors, explained that the project is to see how comfortable humans are when travelling with robots.

‘What we wanted to do is situate robotics and artificial technologies into unlikely scenarios and push the limits of what it’s capable of,’ said Smith.

The robot is equipped with a car seat allowing it to be strapped into vehicles. The hitchBOT website says: ‘If you see me by the side of the road, don’t be afraid to pick me up.’

Smith said the team had replacement bots built to finish the journey in case anything happened to hitchBOT, but up to now, the robot hasn’t been mistreated.

An inbuilt GPS system allows researchers and hitchBOT fans to track its travels online via its website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds where it has a combined 89,000 followers.

HitchBOT is now waiting on a motorcycle to take it to Vancouver, just 70 miles away from its final destination in Victoria, British Columbia.