Tragic hitchBOT and Camera Surveillance

The hitchhiking robot and social experiment called hitchBot came to an end in Philadelphia this week. It had survived crossing Canada and being in Germany and Italy. But it turns out the US was not friendly enough for it to survive. Message from the family:

hitchBOT’s trip came to an end last night in Philadelphia after having spent a little over two weeks hitchhiking and visiting sites in Boston, Salem, Gloucester, Marblehead, and New York City. Unfortunately, hitchBOT was vandalized overnight in Philadelphia; sometimes bad things happen to good robots.

The bot was a relatively simple device with a vaguely human shape – or more like a rough robot shape; two arms and two legs a torso and a screen for eyes.

The robot was able to carry on basic conversation and talk about factoids, and was designed to be a robotic travelling companion while in the vehicle of the driver who picked it up. It had a GPS device and a 3G connection which allowed researchers to track its location. It was equipped with a camera which took photographs periodically to document its journeys. Wikipedia

It’s sad that the robot was destroyed and it could probably have happened anywhere – even if it did happen in Philly. The interesting part for me is that a couple of days later this surfaces: Here’s Video of the Jerk Who Killed hitchBOT talk about surveillance society.

There is always a camera somewhere. The question is: are we doing anything that makes it worth the effort to find the footage?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.