Update: WHYY's Brian Hickey's response to HitchBOT's misadventure in his city: Don't you dare blame Philadelphia for HitchBOT's death.
Original post: After a bunch of really nice humans helped a hitchhiking robot traverse the length of Canada and most of Germany, the robot was going to try to make it from Massachusetts all the way to California.
HitchBOT is the brainchild of two Canadian social scientists. As Frauke Zeller and David Harris Smith explained it in a piece for the Harvard Business Review, it was an experiment meant to spark a discussion "about trust, notions of safety, and about our attitude towards technology."
For his third trip, hitchBOT, a cute robot with kitsch appeal derived from a bucket, a display and noodle appendages, was dropped off at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, on July 17.
The first few days, things went smoothly: With the help of friendly humans, who gave hitchBOT a ride and also charged him, he hit up Fenway Park and Providence and New Haven and even crossed off the first item on his bucket list: "See the lights in Times Square."