On June 13, the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD) announced that its robot, hitchBOT, would travel across Canada, from Halifax to Victoria. Armed with speech recognition, 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity -- and a Wikipedia-powered cache of trivia -- the robot will rely on the help of strangers to travel its course.
“Usually we are concerned whether we can trust robots, but this project takes it the other way around and asks: Can robots trust human beings?” Dr. Frauke Zeller of Ryerson University stated in a press release. “We expect hitchBOT to be charming and trustworthy enough in its conversation to secure rides through Canada.”
The robot has a moving arm to show people that it wants a ride, but is otherwise in capable of moving on its own. The robot will be designed to have a cobbled-together appearance of household items like a bucket, pool noodles, garden gloves and rubber boots.