There was a time in America’s past where hitchhiking was a common thing. People in need of a ride and short on cash thought nothing of sticking out their thumb and catching a ride with a passing motorist. Crackdown from police in effort to curb the potentially dangerous practice has since made the mode of transportation a relic of yesterday.
Canada is bringing hitchhiking back and at the same time breaking new ground on the freebie means of transportation. On July 27th, a robot named HitchBot will make an effort to hitchhike 3,871 miles from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Victoria, British Columbia. He’s presumably the first artificial life-form to attempt such a feat.
And of course, you can track his travels via Twitter.
The Verge reports that the traveling robot is the brainchild of Dr. David Smith and Dr. Frauke Zeller who hope that HitchBOT will be able to answer questions about human kindness and trust. HitchBOT will be made to look like he’s put together from spare parts and will be able to access Wikipedia, interact with social media, and both recognizE and process speech with the help of 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity. The only thing the road-tripping gizmo won’t be able to do is move. It’s up to passing motorists to provide that function.