If you're in Canada and find yourself driving down the TransCanada highway and spot what appears to be a robot trying to hitch a ride, don't be alarmed; it's hitchBOT, a hitchhiking robot developed by professors at McMaster University and Ryerson University.
The robot is fitted with jolly red boots and yellow gloves -- one of which wears a permanent 'thumbing a ride' gesture -- and will try to convince people to pick it up and drive it from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Victoria, British Columbia.
hitchBOT sports artificial intelligence and also boasts speech recognition and processing capabilities, allowing it to understand and converse with humans. hitchBOT can not only converse with people, but can use social media and Wikipedia interfaces to engage in interesting dialogue with them.
The robot is at once a scientific project, social experiment and art installation. In addition to engaging in high-tech interactions, it will also gauge how people interact with a robot that is out and about in their world.
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