Could a Robot Hitch Hike?



The anthropomorphic robot named hitchBOT sits on the shoulder of Highway 102 to begin its 6000 kilometer cross country journey outside of Halifax

Traveling the Rust Belt through Buffalo and Erie, and now Cleveland, you meet a lot of people who have watched their jobs go away as machines handle tasks once undertaken by humans. Working with your hands, I’ve heard from ride after ride, doesn’t take care of a family the way it used to. This is hardly breaking news, but it is a painful fact of life for many in the northeast.

Then it occurred to me – am I safe from automation?

As a hitch hiker, might I someday be replaced by a machine? The answer is – yes.

This little robotic guy already tried to hitch across the US. He (I think it’s a he?) made his way across Europe and Canada, and even found friends to take him along through New England and New York. Hitchbot, I am sad to report, met his end in, of all places, the City of Brotherly Love.


In lieu of flowers, please be kind to the next hitch hiking robot (or human) you see.

One thought on “Could a Robot Hitch Hike?

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  1. Robots may hitch hike all they want, but they lack Utu (Kiswahili)/Ubuntu (Zulu)…what I call the essence of being human, or the humanizing touch of the soul.

    May you encounter Utu/Ubuntu among all those that you meet on the road! Ashe! Afya! Moyo!


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