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August 18, 2014 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Wired for the long and winding road.

Writers and bloggers are always thrilled when one of our own successfully completes his journey and is received with acclaim.

In the tradition of Steinbeck, Kerouac, Twain, and Wolfe, he hit the road hitchhiking from coast to coast.

Searching for truth and insight, he traveled with little more than faith in human kindness.

A little worried about a chill in the air, I was getting ready to send some warm fleece, leg warmers, fleece lined boots, and warm green ski gloves – not mittens even though those are warmer.

After all, he needs to be able and stick out those thumbs.

He may be planning a ferry ride to Seattle. (Looking forward to it after some boating experience along the way)

Maybe he’ll consider wintering in a warmer climate? (Hint: avoid the Rust Belt, little traveler!)

Lucky he was in Canada. In many places, he might have been beaten and trashed like he was nothing more than junk.

His journal is now full of adventures: wedding, tea at the Empress, lake visits, canoes, even a powwow…

(He’ll let you read them.)

His family is thrilled. (They insisted he carry GPS “just in case”. You know how parents are.)

His sibling? KulturBOT? That one rolls with an artsy crowd.

Perhaps this journey of discovery will give this little hobo some status in their free-spirited eyes.

His rakish wink bound to charm even them.

Now having rolled into life, he certainly has more to chat about than Wikipedia!

(Although has learned to take a hint and not to bore people. Listen to his conversation in this car).

Congrats little hitchBOT! (Map of his trip here)

‘Tis evening on the moorland free,

The starlit wave is still;

Home is the sailor from the sea,

The hunter from the hill  (A.E. Housman/”Home is the Sailor”)

As summer ends and everyone returns to their assigned seats, safe travels.

May all you encounter be as kind.

If only we all were wired as he.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Read a bit more about the little robot’s trip?

itchBOT in car mirror (hitchBOT.Vimeo)

hitchBOT on the road (hitchBOT/Vimeo)




  1. Professor VJ Duke / Aug 18 2014 7:24 pm

    Touchingly kind indeed! Greetings from the professor! How are you thhis fine morning?


  2. Robin / Aug 18 2014 8:22 pm

    I love that his arms and legs are noodles. His wellies are cute, too. I almost felt sorry for hitchBOT when the reporter silenced him.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 18 2014 9:59 pm

      I know, he somehow seemed so sweet and eager to please. Was a bit worried he was sitting so close to the road at the end…reciting that Frost poem so well…Thanks for the electric comment


  3. robincoyle / Aug 19 2014 12:39 am

    Haven’t heard about him, but your closet theft from yesterday’s post was on the local news tonight!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 19 2014 1:23 am

      The lady was on the Today show this morning to ‘explain” (show’s links in previous comments if you care)…it just gets whackier and whackier. (What do you bet this was all set up to embarrass her or there’s the insurance fraud possibility?) Stay tuned – bet more will fall out with these characters.
      (Things a bit out of sinc here and I’m behind on just about everything – will be by shortly to see how your world is)
      Thanks for following the yellow gold-ish road!


      • robincoyle / Aug 19 2014 1:25 am

        I don’t know how I missed the whole story before your blog post! I’ve had the news on every morning!


  4. PiedType / Aug 19 2014 1:46 am

    What a delightful story. Way to go, Hitchbot!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 19 2014 2:01 am

      You can’t help wanting one. Just so cool. Hope he gets to wander some more – maybe this way? Thanks for connecting with a comment


  5. Paul / Aug 19 2014 4:51 am

    Just another crafty Canadian – Ha! Gotta like that Hitchbot’s body is made from an empty beer container. We finally found something to do with the empties – they were piling up. Ha! It is so Canadian that people would be polite and inquisitive enough to stop and pick up a robot. I hope Hitchbot is waterproof, it rains a lot up here. I was following your links and Hitchbot has already made it 3,700 miles with the original body, as of today – quite impressive. I love the fact that he recharges with a car cigarette lighter and asks to be plugged in. I would have thought that he would have had to be followed, but apparently they are only watching by GPS. Impressive. People must be adopting him. Love the feather boa in one of the pics. I want to see him fly back home when he is done his trip. Ha!

    Great post Phil. I haven’t seen any mention of Hitchbot here in the Canadian media. Appreciate the head’s up. Looks like a fellow that I’d like to get to know.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 19 2014 3:02 pm

      I think he was covered as he left by a station (National News?), but hitchBOT has a big social media following. You could email them and offer to pick him up for rides.
      This is so cool – could be the start of companion and useful robots? The kids did a great job selecting his appearance and programing him. Not only cheerful news, but offering some hope – of people and technology/robots. Thanks for wiring up a comment


  6. EllaDee / Aug 19 2014 6:14 am

    Hitchbot is a cutie… not safe to hitchhike – I worry about the message he is sending in that regard… but otherwise he seems to be doing fine.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 19 2014 3:06 pm

      He looks a little Lego heritage in the face? How clever they were with the programing – and making him child-sized. In one of the videos, one of the “family”/creator mentioned he used to hitchhike, but it wasn’t safe anymore. They did worry what would happen to him on the road. Happily the trips seems to have rolled along with great success. What a fun experiment – and that robot is so appealing, could be the beginning of companion robots? Thanks for prodding a comment over


  7. gingerfightback / Aug 19 2014 12:55 pm

    He’s done very well

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 19 2014 1:08 pm

      So glad he’s arrived – weather may be starting to turn early this year. (You guys having odd storms over there?)
      Thanks for rolling in to chat – running behind here , but will be over to catch up on a the gingery new shortly!


      • gingerfightback / Aug 19 2014 1:40 pm

        Hurrican Bertha’s tail gave us some wind and rain but nothing too serious – has turned nippy though


  8. jannatwrites / Aug 21 2014 7:34 am

    I hadn’t heard about this. I wouldn’t be brave enough to hitchhike (not sure about Canada, but depending on kindness in this country could be deadly!)


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 21 2014 12:49 pm

      In one of the articles/videos, one of his creators talks about how he used to hitchhike, but it wasn’t as safe anymore. They were concerned about his safety – but it looks like so many were alert on the road – and offered him rides online that he was pretty well escorted. They did such a stellar job of programing him (his conversations are charming…and he will be quiet if asked.) He’s is pretty cute. Wouldn’t one of these be great to stimulate social interaction in hospitals or nursing homes?
      Thanks for rolling in with a comment


  9. jmmcdowell / Aug 21 2014 7:29 pm

    I love to see creativity turned to fun and positive purposes like this!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 22 2014 12:33 am

      This is robot is so well thought out. The size and components selected. He even sounds congenial and charming. Well, done guys – well done! Thanks for gathering up some thoughts to leave here.


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