‘hitchBOT’ created by a team of Ontario-based communication researchers studying the relationship between people and technology, reached its final destination on Sunday in Victoria, British Columbia.

“We wanted to situate robotics and artificial technologies into unlikely scenarios and push the limits of what it’s capable of,” said David Smith, the robot’s co-creator, who teaches at Ontario’s McMaster University.

The robot looks like it was made out of components scavenged from a yard sale a bucket, pool noodles, cake saver, garden gloves and yellow Wellington boots but it has a sense of direction and can even ask and answer questions. Its conversation skills might be a bit stilted, but hitchBOT has managed to charm its way across 6,000 km since it began its journey in Nova Scotia on July 26.

It has a built-in GPS system and is programmed with mobile technology similar to a smartphone, with speech recognition software that works in conjunction with language modeling. The robot links questions with answers by looking for certain key words and is programmed to scour Wikipedia to spit out regionally relevant facts.

It didn’t take long for hitchBOT to become a social media sensation and many people who have offered it a ride already knew all about him.

Along the way, hitchBOT was invited to a feast with the Wikwemikong First Nation group, where he was dubbed Biiaabkookwe.

Currently, hitchBOT is hanging out with the British Columbia rock band The Wild, which is taking it to its next performance.

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