Magazine article ASEE Prism

One for the Road

Magazine article ASEE Prism

One for the Road

Article excerpt

Never mind the question can humans trust technology. How about, can technology trust humans? Apparently, the answer is yes, based on the experience of a robot named hitchBOT, which managed to hitchhike 3,700 miles across Canada in the summer of 2014 with the help of a dozen or so complete strangers who stopped to pick it up along the way. The general design of the robot was a little on the low-tech side. HitchBOT was cobbled together from a beer cooler, a transparent cake saver, and swimming pool floats for limbs. But it also was equipped with GPS, 3G wireless connectivity, and voice recognition software that enabled it to make small talk with the help of a Wikipedia application programming interface. For power, hitchBOT had its own solar cells and could be plugged into a cars cigarette lighter. …

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