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Canadian Hitchhiking Robot

TORONTO (AP) — He has dipped his boots in Lake Superior, crashed a wedding and attended an Aboriginal powwow. A talking, bucket-bodied robot has enthralled Canadians since it departed from Halifax last month on a hitchhiking journey to the Pacific coast.

HitchBOT, created by team of Ontario-based communication researchers studying the relationship between people and technology, will reach its final destination Sunday in Victoria, British Columbia, where it will receive a traditional aboriginal canoe greeting at Victoria Harbor.

"What we wanted to do is 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. "It's challenging but it can also be highly engaging and entertaining as hitchBOT has proven."

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. His conversation skills might be a bit stilted, but hitchBOT has managed to charm its way across 3,700 miles (6,000 kilometers) since it began its journey in Nova Scotia on July 26.

Read the rest of "Hitchhiking robot charms it's way across Canada" at Stltoday.com

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