HitchBOT, the Hitchhiking Robot, Is Killed by a Heartless Human -- but the Internet Will Never Forget

RIP HitchBOT! The traveling robot met his demise in Philadelphia last night where he was vandalized and destroyed. The more I learn about this amazing social experiment, the more heartbroken I become -- and it seems the world agrees!

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HitchBOT journeyed throughout Canada, the Netherlands, and Germany and only made it 300 miles into his trek in the United States before someone -- who has yet to get caught -- broke him apart. The world is pretty mad at this culprit and looking forward to the day HitchBOT gets rebuilt.

What we know about HitchBOT is this -- he was made by a group at Ontario's McMaster and Ryerson universities to test what humans will do in the presence of a technological novelty. He was made out of odds and ends and wore just Wellington boots and gardening gloves. HitchBOT could only go on his adventure with help from strangers.

While there is Snapchat footage of a jerk (who may or may not be the final killer) destroying HitchBOT, the culprit has yet to be caught. Of course, if you see this guy -- turn him in! Because it definitely looks like he had it in for the friendly robot.

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Meanwhile, the Twitterverse lit up to remember the happy hitchhiker, shame whoever is responsible, and add some well-meaning humor to the situation too. Some of the best tributes included:

And HitchBOT himself sent this heartfelt Tweet:

Let's take a moment of silence for HitchBOT (until he returns) and take a look at some of the highlights of his international journey:

 

I hope that HitchBOT is up and running soon. While sadly I'm not shocked that someone was so cruel and didn't get the point of HitchBOT, I do hope there's a silver lining and when HitchBOT is running again that the love, support, and awareness will be bigger and better!

 

Image via hitchBOT/Twitter

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