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Canadian hitchhiking robot takes on the US

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You wouldn’t hurt a cute little robot, eh?

A squeaky-voiced robot from Canada is throwing down the gauntlet in a politeness challenge to the U.S.—can it hitchhike across the country and survive intact?

HitchBot will begin an epic journey across the U.S. on Friday, thumbing rides from Massachusetts to California in what will be a test of both public manners and attitudes toward anthropomorphic machines. It will make its way from Salem to San Francisco, following successful treks across Canada and Germany and a sojourn in the Netherlands.

Like all hitchhikers, HitchBot relies upon the kindness of strangers. It’s placed along a roadside, one rubber glove thumb in the air, and waits for a kindly motorist to pick it up, carry it into a vehicle and haul it down the road.

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