If someone gives Hitchbot a lift, it will be able to communicate that it's heading to Victoria, British Columbia, thanks to speech recognition and chatbot capabilities. It might even ask to be plugged into a car's cigarette lighter for charging, or pass the time by sharing some of the knowledge it's gleaned from Wikipedia. The robot will be active on social media throughout the journey too, with Facebook and Instagram accounts already up and running.
Spec-wise, the researchers kept their bot pretty simple, with audio, video, GPS and 3G. The bot's torso and hat will also be wrapped in solar panels for charging. What the machine can't do is move on its own -- it will rely on helpful strangers for that. And while the little guy seems pretty darn amusing, there's nothing preventing anyone from dismantling or otherwise harming Hitchbot. As stated in the bot's first journal entry: "My journey's success is reliant on those kind-hearted souls that I'll hopefully meet along the way." Steering clear of moose would be good, too.