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Human-dependent android hitching across Canada

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A human-dependent android has been set on a hitchhiking trip across Canada in search for an answer to an uncanny query.

Put together from household items, “hitchbot” started its journey on July 27 in Canada’s Atlantic port city of Halifax on a mission designed by McMaster University experts.

The project aims to see if robots can trust humans, “hitchbot” needing to look to humans to help it fare through thousands of kilometers of trekking.

Frauke Zeller, co-creator of the automaton, said, “Our aim is to further discussion in society about our relationship with technology and robots, and notions of safety and trust.”

“It cannot achieve its task of hitchhiking across Canada without the help of people, because it cannot move by itself,” she said.

It can strike up a conversation and can answer trivia questions by consulting information using its built-in computers.

And it will even tell you when it’s tired and in need of recharging from your car’s cigarette lighter.

The robot is small enough to fit into the backseat of a car, but still have enough heft so it would not be blown over by a gust of wind while hitchhiking on the side of the road.


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