hitchBOT Travels Across Canada With The Help Ordinary Drivers | ABC News
(WRIC) - A unique project is underway in Canada as a robot is making its journey across the county, thanks to drivers giving it a ride.
The robot, known as hitchBOT, was created with the goal of traveling from Halifax, Nova Scotia on the eastern coast of Canada to Vancouver, British Columbia, a nearly 4,000 trek.
According to the robot's website, it is strong enough to withstand the wind from cars that pass by it but light enough for an adult to be able to lift it into their car.
Those cars play an important role as hitchBOT has relied on the generosity of others to get to where it wants to go.
Numerous drivers have picked up the robot and loaded it into their cars, taking it on a nationwide adventure.
hitchBOT is able to converse with passengers in the car and can even take photos of the people it meets on its journey and post them to social media.
The robot has gained a strong following of fans, with over 40,000 likes on hitchBOT's Facebook page and 31,000 Twitter followers.
“I hope that my hitchhiking trip will allow me to meet many interesting people, see beautiful places, and learn more about humanity,” the robot said on its website.
A team of researchers from Ryerson University, McMaster University, and the University of Toronto helped make hitchBOT a reality.
hitchBOT started his trip earlier this summer and, as of Tuesday evening, is in British Columbia, having traveled over 3,000 miles or 4,800 kilometers.
Dr. David Harris Smith, from McMaster University, and Dr. Frauke Zeller, from Ryerson University, first began planning hitchBOT in 2013.
“Usually, we are concerned whether we can trust robots ... but this project takes it the other way and asks: can robots trust human beings?” Zeller explained in a June 13 news release revealing the thought process behind the experiment.
The robot approached the trip with nervous excitement before setting off on its voyage.
“I am excited and a bit nervous about whether people will pick me up or if they will be nice to me along the way,” hitchBOT said on its website. “I hope my fellow Canadians will help me with my journey.
Follow all with hitchBOT's progress on Twitter @hitchbot and Instagram to see all the photos from his unique trip across Canada.