Keep Your Eye Out for a Hitchhiking Robot This Summer

By: | July 15th, 2014

HitchBOT, seen in an artist’s conception (HitchBOT/Instagram)

There’s a hitchhiker hitting the road this summer that you won’t be able to pass up. His name is hitchBOT and, after drivers do a double take from seeing a robot on the side of the road with his thumb in the air, they’ll stop for a what’s sure to be an unforgettable summer experience.

HitchBOT is the result of a collaborative project between Ryerson University and McMaster University in Ontario. It’s equipped with artificial intelligence (AI) systems to recognize speech and can converse with drivers on the journey.

With the Wikipedia database in his memory, hitchBOT has enough knowledge to talk about the world.

HitchBot is also equipped with 3G connectivity, a GPS and a camera. The bot will ask drivers to plug it into the vehicles’ cigarette lighters charge the robot’s battery.

HitchBot’s cross country journey will begin on July 27th and will share the progress of its journey

As an experimental project, the researchers plan to put this cute little hitchBOT on the side of the road in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and hope that the robot can convince drivers to get it to Victoria, capital city of British Columbia, Canada.

Once hitchBOT starts its journey, it will tweet its progress. You can follow along on Twitter or Instagram and at the bot’s website: hitchbot.me. You can also offer him a ride if you see him on the road.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. You can also find Nidhi on Google+.

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