After a stop to recharge, Canada‘s most famous — and only — beer cooler-turned-hitchhiking robot will set off on one of the final legs of its cross-country journey.
HitchBOT, the brainchild of a group of Ontario researchers, will have managed to thumb its way from Halifax to Victoria in about three weeks.
Last check on Wednesday, the chatty, social media-savvy robot was in Kelowna, B.C., on its way to the Open Space art centre on Vancouver Island before heading to a local First Nations community.
"I need to recharge, hitchhiking is tough," it tweeted.
HitchBOT left Nova Scotia on July 26 for the 6,000-kilometre journey to Victoria.
The little traveller, about the size of a six-year-old child, was made using pool noodles, an old beer cooler bucket, Wellington boots, rubber gloves, solar panels and a computerized "brain."
David Harris Smith, an assistant professor at Hamilton's McMaster University, conceived the idea of creating a collaborative art project centred on a hitchhiking robot.
He says hitchBOT is also an experiment that looks at the interaction between people and increasingly ubiquitous technology.
It has been an incredible adventure for the small robot, which has met hundreds of people, visited a powwow at Wikwemikong, met the world's most famous albino groundhog, Wiarton Willie, grooved to the Harlem Shake in Saskatchewan and partied all night at a wedding in Golden, B.C.
Perhaps most fascinating is the fact hitchBOT has made it all the way to British Columbia, depending on the kindness of strangers to get it safely to its destination.
HitchBOT is equipped with a GPS and 3G wireless connectivity that allows it to post frequent updates of its position on the internet.