Abstract

In the early morning hours of 1 August 2015, as it waited for its next ride on a Philly park bench, unknown assailants destroyed hitchBOT. Arms torn from its body, legs broken, gutted of its electronics, it was left discarded in a park, minus its smiley-face LED head. Around the world headlines announced the death of a much-loved robot, children and adults shed tears, haters hated on Philadelphia, cartoonists and musicians paid tribute, journalists wrote obituaries and the publicly minded rallied to support a rebuild. The authors share the story of the life and times of their creation, hitchBOT the hitchhiking robot.

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