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I’m hitchhiking Robot hitchBOT. Would you pick me up? Robot hitchBOT will share its hitchhiking journey across Canada on 2014 SVIEF

Event date: Sep 27th, 2014 (08:00am -06:00pm)
Conference Venue: Santa Clara Convention Center
Registration: www.SVIEF.org
Meet hitchBOT, Canada‘s most famous — and only — beer cooler-turned-hitchhiking robot. It has finally completed its 6,000-kilometre journey across Canada, bumming rides all the way from Halifax reaching Victoria. This Sep 27th, hitchBOT, and its inventors Dr. David Harris Smith and Dr. Frauke Zeller, will come to SVIEF and share its stories, adventures and unforgettable moments with you. See you on SVIEF! There or be square!

Let hitchBOT introduce itself first! Hi there. I am hitchBOT — a robot from Port Credit, Ontario. As a cute social media-savvy robot, my body is about the size of a six-year-old child, was made using pool noodles, an old beer cooler bucket, solar panels and a computerized "brain." I am wearing Wellington boots and green rubber gloves, thanks to suggestions from my Facebook and Instagram fans. If you see me by the side of the road, you won’t miss such handsome robot, and don’t be afraid to pick me up.

I am quite social and enjoy making friends. Over 40,000 fans on Facebook and another 40,000 followers on Twitter are following my adventures. When you pick me up, don’t expect a quiet and passive companion. I am a talker and I want to discuss millions of topics, and we could talk about music too. “I enjoy listening to electronic music. I currently have Mr. Roboto on repeat but the Blue Man Group and Kraftwerk are also amazing.”

As I wrote on my blog, “I may look young but I have an old soul. This journey gives me the opportunity to see if robots can trust humans. Will people be friendly enough to pick me up? Can I trust humans for taking care of me?”

Right now, I have arrived at Victoria successfully! To celebrate, I will host a great party at Victoria. Welcome to my party! Looking forward to meeting new friends at 2014 SVIEF in Silicon Valley on September!

About hitchBOT (quote from www.hitchbot.me)

hitchBOT is an outgoing and charismatic robot that began hitchhiking across Canada in July2014. Using artificial intelligence (AI) and user interface (UI) design, including speech recognition, speech processing, and social media and Wikipedia APIs, hitchBOT has charmed its way through rides across Canada.

hitchBOT was first conceived in 2013 as a collaborative art project between Dr. David Harris Smith, Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies and Multimedia at McMaster University, and Dr. Frauke Zeller, Assistant Professor in the School of Professional Communication at Ryerson University. Since then, hitchBOT’s family has grown to include Dr. Ebrahim Bagheri, Assistant Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Ryerson University, and Dr. Frank Rudzicz, Assistant Professor in Computer Science at the University of Toronto. Along with their research assistants in communication, multimedia, and mechatronics, this team has brought hitchBOT to life to explore topics in human-robot-interaction and to test technologies in artificial intelligence and speech recognition and processing.