HitchBOT, the Hitchhiking Robot, Damaged Beyond Repair in Philadelphia: “Sometimes Bad Things Happen to Good Robots”

HitchBOT, the Hitch-Hiking Robot, Was Decapitated
HitchBOT, the hitchhiking robot that captivated the world, has been destroyed two weeks into its American tour: "I guess sometimes bad things happen to good robots." AP Photo/Stephan Savoia

Beepity not cool! HitchBOT, the hitchhiking robot that captivated the world, has been destroyed in America, its creators told the Associated Press this past weekend.

“Sadly, sadly it’s come to an end,” one of HitchBOT’s co-creators Frauke Zeller told the AP.

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hitchbot in germany
The robot ‘hitchBOT’ stands in front of the Reichstag in Berlin, Germany, Feb. 18. Jens Kalaene/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

The kid-sized bot had already made its way through parts of Europe and Canada. Sadly, HitchBOT met its demise in Philadelphia, ironically, the City of Brotherly Love. HitchBOT started the American leg of its tour in Marblehead, Mass., last month. It was set to travel across the country, but its time in the United States of America was cut short two weeks into its tour.

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hitchBOT Fenway Park
hitchBOT rests on the wall along the first base line before a baseball game at Fenway Park between the Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers in Boston, July 24. AP Photo/Charles Krupa

The device, which had its right thumb stretched out to the sky, also had a banner splayed on its smiling head that read, “San Francisco or bust.” HitchBOT was able to communicate in limited form, and share interesting factoids.

Zeller said her biggest concern was for the kids who loved HitchBOT and were engrossed in its travels. She and her team had no plans to release the image (warning) of the decapitated robot with its limbs removed, although tech sites later posted photos of the gruesome scene.

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In a sad message on its blog, HitchBOT’s creators wrote about what had happened. “Oh dear, my body was damaged, but I live on back home and with all my friends,” the post read. “I guess sometimes bad things happen to good robots! My trip must come to an end for now, but my love for humans will never fade. Thank you to all my friends.”

All my ducks have lined up in a row and I am having a great time in Boston. #hitchBOTinUSA

A photo posted by @hitchbot on Jul 24, 2015 at 11:09am PDT

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HitchBOT’s team continued the message, saying it had no plans to press charges. “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,” the post read. “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.”

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