UPDATED: Fake surveillance video of HitchBOT's destruction was possibly distributed by culprits
Even though HitchBOT successfully hitchhiked across Canada and Germany, the hitchhiking robot made it only two weeks in the U.S. The robot began its journey in Salem, Massachusetts, but only lasted to Philadelphia, where it was discovered without its head and with its arms torn off. Creators Frauke Zeller and David Harris Smith, both professors at Canadian universities, outfitted the robot with a GPS to monitor its whereabouts.
New footage surfaced recently from YouTube vlogger Jesse Wellens, which captures an unidentified man kicking the robot’s head in Philadelphia at 5:46am on Saturday morning.
Gizmodo points out that online commentators have disputed the authenticity of the video, posted by vloggers Jesse Wellens and Ed Bassmaster. The video appears to show someone who looks like Bassmaster kicking an unseen object behind a trash can, and looks like it's been altered to appear as grainy surveillance footage. Local news stations say there are no surveillance cameras on the street that could have taped the footage. It's still unknown whether Bassmaster and Wellens are the ones responsible for destroying HitchBOT.
Cover: The National