You probably heard over the weekend about HitchBOT — a hitchhiking robot that had made it successfully across Europe and Canada without incident, but which was vandalized when it got to Philly. It kind of got to be a big deal, making national and international news:
— David Lee Preston (@DavidLeePreston) August 3, 2015
But that may not be the end of the story: Philly techies at The Hacktory are now trying to save HitchBOT. Hacktory members posted their intentions Sunday night:
“We were saddened (but maybe not very surprised) to hear that the beloved #HitchBot, which had done trips across Europe and Canada, was destroyed during it’s stay in Philly,” they wrote. “We at The Hacktory are trying to figure out what to do to help. We’ve reached out to the creators and the people who traveled with the HitchBot recently to get details on where the parts are. We know a lot of people out there don’t want this to be the end of the US tour for HitchBot.”
They added: “We’ll say that at this moment, if we get the ok from the creators to repair or replace the needed parts for HitchBot, we’ll be happy to do so. If not, we understand… and we may just build ourselves a HitchBot2 to send along on it’s journey. We feel it’s the least we can do to let everyone, especially the Robot community, know that Philly isn’t so bad, it’s got some really great stuff going on, and great people. But seriously, we would recommend avoiding the scene in Old City on the weekend evenings… not a good one for bots or anyone who’s not looking for a drunken brawl.”
Gentlemen: We can rebuild him. We have the technology. We can make him better than he was. Better…stronger…faster.
And if not, well: HitchBOT’s demise provoked a fair amount of social media commentary.
I, for one, thought it was strange and unnecessary that hitchBOT was programmed to feel pain
— Matt Novak (@paleofuture) August 2, 2015
— Domelights Unhinged (@Domelights) August 2, 2015
— Bob Banks (@TheBobBanks) August 3, 2015
— Josh Kruger (@jawshkruger) August 2, 2015
Not surprised to hear Hitchbot was vandalized in Philadelphia. No Canadian could ever survive a night in Philly. Robot or otherwise.
— Hayes Johnson (@agentraybans) August 1, 2015