This is an experiment to see not if humans can trust robots, but if robots can trust humans, says Hitchbot’s co-creator Frauke Zeller, an assistant professor at Ryerson University.
Hitchbot’s mission: to hitchhike from Halifax to Victoria, presumably while making new friends and having plenty of adventures along the way.
Hitchbot is programmed to converse about many things, but let’s hope for the mission’s sake Hitchbot steers clear of prodding discussions on politics and religion. Let’s also hope Hitchbot is programmed to be quiet when the occasion calls for silence. No one likes a needy passenger.
Judging by Hitchbot’s Twitter account, the little guy has already been promised a ride into Quebec, despite starting the journey just yesterday. Then again, homeless drifters of the human variety rarely get this level of positive press coverage.