For his third trip, hitchBOT, a cute robot with kitsch appeal — made of a bucket, a display and noodle appendages — was dropped off at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Mass., on July 17.
The first few days, things went smoothly: With the help of friendly humans, who gave hitchBOT a ride and also charged him, he hit up Fenway Park and Providence and New Haven and even crossed off the first item on his bucket list: "See the lights in Times Square."
I thought I was bright and flashy, but the lights in Times Square have me beat. Next stop... who knows! pic.twitter.com/EKIQk4J1lB
Eventually, he made it to Philadelphia, where Jesse Wellens, of YouTube fame, showed him around town in the early morning hours of Saturday. At 3:57 a.m. ET on Saturday, Wellens tweeted that he was dropping hitchBOT off at Elfreths Ally, the oldest residential street in the U.S.
HitchBOT's family — aka the researchers — issued this statement:
"hitchBOT's trip came to an end last night in Philadelphia after having spent a little over two weeks hitchhiking and visiting sites in Boston, Salem, Gloucester, Marblehead, and New York City. Unfortunately, hitchBOT was vandalized overnight in Philadelphia; sometimes bad things happen to good robots. We know that many of hitchBOT's fans will be disappointed, but we want them to be assured that this great experiment is not over. For now we will focus on the question 'what can be learned from this?' and explore future adventures for robots and humans."