It's already managed to make it safely across Canada and around Germany and the Netherlands based solely on the kindness of strangers, but the Canadian-made HitchBOT is now starting its most ambitious road trip yet. It's not only trying to make it across the United States, but check off a number of tourist destinations along the way.
As you can see, while the bot is technically a humanoid robot, it does have some limitations. Namely, as a bucket with only foam arms and legs, it can't move around on its own, hence the dependence on hitchhiking (and a helping hand) to make it to its destination. It is an actual robot, though, with speech recognition system that helps it carry on a conversation, and a camera and GPS to keep it aware of its surroundings.
HitchBOT also uses that camera to automatically take a picture every twenty minutes, but, as CBC News notes, the researchers at Ryerson and McMaster University behind the bot ask for permission before sharing photos of anyone on social media.
Things get started today in Boston, and the researchers hope the bot will eventually make its way to San Francisco -- with stops at places like the Grand Canyon and Mt. Rushmore in between -- but, as usual, they aren't making any predictions when (or if) it'll complete the trek. Or, for that matter, what they have planned for its next adventure.
Maybe tomorrow, it'll want to settle down.