Skip to content. | Skip to navigation


Personal tools
You are here: Research @ McMaster > Research in the City > Nov. 25 hitchBOT

Nov. 25 hitchBOT

The Death and Lives of hitchBOT the Hitchhiking Robot

In the early morning hours of August 1 2015, waiting 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 ultimately 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.

Please join David Harris Smith -- hitchBOT's co-creator --on Wednesday November 25 when he shares the story of the life and times of hitchBOT, the hitchhiking robot. 

Wednesday November 25 @ 7:00 p.m. in the David Braley Health Sciences Centre
100 Main Street West, Hamilton;Second Floor Auditorium, Room 2032 Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
To register for this free public lecture, send an email to or by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 24934


About our speaker

David Harris SmithDavid Harris Smith is Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies & Multimedia. David is an artist and researcher in interactive new media. His research interests include new media and digital cultures, interaction design, and the practices and applications of virtual worlds, simulation, mixed reality environments, cultural robotics and AI. He teaches courses in DIY media and cultures of peer production, design, coding, theory and practice of new media arts, and avatar virtual worlds. David is the Director of Research formacGRID Simulation Research Network, an international research network utilizing theOpen Simulator platform and SHARCNET High Performance Computing for Cyberscience and Art.


 About hitchBOT

hitchBOT is a robot from Port Credit, Ontario.

Last summer hitchBOT hitchhiked across Canada from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Victoria, British Columbia. In just 26 days it hitched a total of 19 rides and travelled over 10,000 kilometres. hitchBOT’s adventure continued as it visited Germany to explore cities like Munich, Cologne, Berlin, and Hamburg. hitchBOT also took a vacation in the Netherlands to see some of Twente’s most notable arts and culture locations.

This past summer, hitchBOT shined its wellies to hitchhike across the USA. hitchBOT’s journey started in Salem, Massachusetts and it had hoped to make it to San Francisco, California. During the two weeks that hitchBOT was on the road, it managed to cross two items from its hitchhiking bucket list with the help of friendly strangers.

Though hitchBOT’s trip ended abruptly on August 1, 2015, its love for humans will never fade.