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This Robot Is A Hitchhiker You'll Want To Pick Up

You meet some interesting hitchhikers when you drive across Canada.

Along the road there are tourists, drifters and others looking for adventure.

But this summer may mark the first time people traversing the Great White North may cross paths with a robot asking for a ride.

"hitchBOT" is a travelling robot at the centre of a collaborative art project conceived by David Smith and Frauke Zeller, professors at McMaster and Ryerson University, respectively.

Together with a team of academics, they are building hitchBOT out of found materials including a beer cooler bucket, a cake saver, and solar panels. Once completed, the robot will be able to extend its arm to hitch a ride and make small talk by answering questions with the aid of Wikipedia, CBC News reported.

The point of the exercise is to evaluate if robots can trust humans, Zeller said in a Friday news release.

"We expect hitchBOT to be charming and trustworthy enough in its conversation to secure rides through Canada," she said.

The robot will try to snag its first ride from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design on July 27, with the goal of reaching Open Space, an artist centre in Victoria, B.C., CTV News reported.

Anyone can pick up hitchBOT and charge its battery by plugging it into a cigarette lighter, according to The Atlantic.

Helpful drivers should be aware that they may become part of hitchBOT's story if they pick it up, as its journey will be chronicled on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, Zeller told CBC News.

"Basically, the whole nation is watching via social media," she said.

An Instagram post on Monday showed what hitchBOT's head would look like.

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