IMPORTANT HITCHBOT UPDATE!!!
Prankster Ed Bassmaster, one of the two YouTubers who were with HitchBot in Philadelphia on what was to be his final night on the road, has revealed the so-called “surveillance footage” released to the media purportedly showing the robot’s final moments is, in fact, a fake.
It’s actually Bassmaster himself, in character as “Always Teste,” in the video, and he’s not really doing anything to HitchBot. It’s true, some cruel Philadelphia resident really did vandalize the robot. But it was not Bassmaster or Teste, and it’s not what we’re seeing in the video. (Bassmaster’s upload concludes with a sincere message supporting the HitchBot project.)
What does it say about America that a friendly hitchhiking robot made it all the way through Canada, Germany and the Netherlands unharmed, but only lasted two weeks in the US?
HitchBot was a hitchhiking robot from Port Credit, Ontario, with a mission to travel the world, relying totally on the kindness of human strangers. In the past year it’s traveled through Europe and Canada, making new friends, posing for photos and filming all its adventures.
But on a planned journey from Boston to San Francisco, the robot stopped in Philadelphia, where some good-for-nothing kicked it to pieces and left it broken on the side of the road.
Fortunately its owners recovered HitchBot and put it back together, and the robot tweeted that “My trip must come to an end for now, but my love for humans will never fade. Thanks friends.”
YouTube pranksters Jesse Wellens and Ed Bassmaster were two of the last people to be seen with HitchBot before it was broken, and Jess later found surveillance footage of someone vandalizing the robot and posted it to Snapchat. They’ve since made cameos in some of the local news coverage about the incident.
A Philly tech group called The Hacktory has offered to rebuild HitchBot, and a Kickstarter has been launched to help the robot out.