|Gone too soon.|
The Canadian researchers who created hitchBOT as a social experiment say someone in Philadelphia damaged the robot beyond repair on Saturday, ending its brief American tour.
The robot was trying to travel cross-country after successfully hitchhiking across Canada last year and parts of Europe. So just in case you didn't read that right, everything went fine until the friendly metal individual came on down to the U.S. Specifically to the people of Philly, a city that has a...certain reputation...for having terrible people. A reputation that clearly stands.
It set out from Marblehead, Massachusetts, two weeks ago in July with the goal of reaching San Francisco, but never made it off the East Coast.
The creators were sent an image of the vandalized robot but cannot track its location because the battery is dead.
They say they don't know who destroyed it or why. But co-creator Frauke Zeller says many children who adored the robot are now heartbroken.
So congratulations Philadelphia. The city that boos Santa Claus, and is actually littered with abandoned cars, has now stooped it's lowest. If you are competing with every city in Florida to be the worst, you might just have won. Congratulations.
And for hitchBOT, to quote a certain television show, "We can rebuild him, we have the technology." HitchBOT will ride again!