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This robot will hitchhike 3,871 miles across Canada
A robot has set its eyes on doing the unthinkable – starting from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design on July 27 to completing a coast-to-coast, 3,871-mile journey across Canada.
HitchBOT is a collaborative art project conceived by Dr. David Harris Smith and Dr. Frauke Zeller with the aim to get people talking about technology and public safety.
“Usually, we are concerned whether we can trust robots, ” says Zeller in a statement. “But this project takes it the other way around and asks: can robots trust human beings?”
The robot is equipped with 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity and will be capable of accessing Wikipedia, interacting with social media, and have voice recognition and processing abilities that will allow it to make small talk. The LED screen will enable the robot to message humans using text, and even make some facial expressions.
HitchBOT will be fuelled with solar panels concealing the beer cooler bucket that is its body, and can also be recharged from car cigarette lighters or a regular outlet.
For all its abilities HitchBOT has one major deficiency – it can’t walk. The human-like machine will rely on the kindness of strangers to complete its journey, making the voyage even more interesting.
The rest of the work-in-progress construction will be low-tech, looking like it was put together by “odds and ends” featuring only a moving hitchhiking arm.