Truth Frequency Radio
Aug 19, 2014

By: Shanzelle Fitz-Williams,

HitchBOT is a one-of-its-kind robot which promises to surprise everyone with the tales of its unique trip all over Canada. The gender neutral (but feminine voiced), 3.5-feet tall robot weighs around 15 pounds and has been made out of $2,000 worth of mundane products which include a beer cooler, a garbage can lid, garden gloves, LED panels, and pool noodles. HitchBOT has hitch hiked all across Canada since it started its journey from Halifax on July 27, with the help of strangers who pick him up and take him around with them, and has gathered a following of about 33,500 people on Twitter (TWTR), 11,000 on Instagram, and more than 40,000 likes on Facebook Inc (FB), all thanks to his constant exciting tweets and posts about his whereabouts.

The Canadian travel robot was created by Toronto researchers David Harris Smith of McMaster University and Frauke Zeller, an assistant professor at Ryerson University, in their attempts to investigate the human-robot interaction and to prove that artificial intelligence in robots can be harmless for mankind. Hence they deliberately left the robot defenseless, making it rely on humans for its survival needs. One of its creators, Zeller told the Wall Street Journal how “The Terminator” and “Optimus Prime” have tarnished the image humans had of robots – a technology invented to benefit them, not to fight them or bring their world upside down.

The social-media-savvy robot uses GPS technology and 3G wireless network connection to inform its makers about its whereabouts and activities on the internet. The tweets posted by HitchBOT are always moderated by its owners so as to avoid any controversy. “HitchBOT” is also an avid user of Facebook and Instagram.


However, being active on social media is not the only things that HitchBOT does. During his three weeks all around Canada, he has had his share of socializing. The robot has camped in New Brunswick, crashed a wedding in British Columbia, danced in grasslands, and paddled in Lake Superior. Although he has visited all the places in one piece till now, the creators of HitchBOT have already made replacement robots in case the original one gets damaged.

It looks like this hitchhiking robot is successfully undertaking his mission of creating a bond between humans and robots. According to its makers, HitchBOT’s growing popularity might even make them extend his journey to other countries like US, Germany, Netherlands or even the Philippines.