You know, I am not entirely on board with the story about the demise of the HitchBOT.
I don’t live in Philadelphia and I’m no expert on Philadelphia but I know enough to confidently say that a Philadelphian who had designs on a friendly robot would either pawn it, hold it for ransom or absorb into a performance art troupe.
Apparently HitchBOT has made its way across Canada and Europe without incident and also without notice from the US press. And suddenly at a mid-point between NY and Washington (a location guaranteed to generate press attention,for the press is centered on itself and thus on events in these two cities primarily) the friendly robot was damaged in such a way as to make international headlines that call attention to the heretofore ignored project.
The location of the robot’s demise sent up a red flag for me and my suspicions were strengthened when I saw this video done by one of the robot’s creators She dispassionately makes the call that the robot is irreparable based on a photo. So I believe that the event was planned, the ending pre-determined and the end-goal of raising (or really, establishing) awareness of the robot-creation group has been accomplished.
I call bullshit. so far, I am the only conspirator that I know of on this matter but every conspiracy theory must start with a single step and I am willing to do that.
And that surveillance cam footage of a baggy pantsed young gentleman wearing a ball cap as he kicked (off camera) the friendly robot … He was seen throwing down what could be robot arms onto the middle of the sidewalk and then walking away after the kicking leaving the appendages unmoved. Very different that the death photo where the arms are near the rest of the carcass. I am unconvinced.
Also, I would like to state that the robot is your run of the mill robot, 60s TV series-style, but it’s the wardrobe that made it seem friendly.
UPDATE: check out the tag in this this snip from a tumblr post showing HitchBOT’s death photo for your basic Philly attitude.