By Melony Roy
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Internet erupted when HitchBOT, the hitch-hiking robot, was dismembered and destroyed in Old City. Now, members of Philadelphia’s tech community have decided not to resurrect the beloved Internet sensation HitchBOT, but instead have plans to create something new as a good will gesture.
With the blessing and some instructions from HitchBOT’s creator Colin Gagich, engineers, tech developers and robot enthusiasts gathered last week at the Hacktory in West Philadelphia in hopes of building something positive.
“We came up with the idea called the ‘PhillyLoveBot,’ which would be similar to the HitchBOT,” says executive director Georgia Guthrie. “It would have some programmed phrases and it could talk to people and respond to them.”
Unlike the hitch-hiking HitchBOT, PhillyLoveBOT will be passed person to person.
“Anyone who receives the bot would make a commitment to do a good deed,” Guthrie says, “or an act of kindness that they’d document on social media with the hashtag #BotterlyLove.”
She says it will take several months to build PhillyLoveBOT and that the Hacktory is still accepting donations via Paypal.
If you would like to get involved, their weekly project time on Thursday nights from 7-9 p.m. is open to the public.