Digital hitchhiker embarking on coast-to-coast tour of US to study how humans, robots interact

Associated Press

A hitchhiking robot is about to embark on its first cross-country tour of the U.S. after similar trips in Canada and Europe.

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The robot known as hitchBOT is set to depart from Salem, Massachusetts, on Friday with plans to end the trip in San Francisco. Along the way, it has a bucket list that includes Times Square, Mount Rushmore and the Grand Canyon.

The humanoid robot can't move on its own, relying on strangers to drive it from place to place.

Researchers in Canada created the robot as an experiment to study how people interact with it. There are no rules limiting where travelers can take the robot or what they do with it.

Creator Frauke Zeller calls it an "art project in the wild" that invites people to participate.