Before the death of Hitchbot, I was the last person to experience the hitchhiking experiment. It was handed off to me and Ed in Philly on top of the Rocky Steps at Art Museum. At that point, I did not know much about the Robot except that he had a bucket list to visit famous landmarks around the United States. I later learned that his next destination was to travel to Washington D.C., so I reached out to my twitter and snapchat followers for someone come meet me to pick up the robot and bring him along his journey. I sat him on a bench in the historically known oldest residential street of Philadelphia, Elfreth’s Alley. I waited there for awhile, but no one had come for Hitchbot, so I left him to continue his hitchhiking journey on his own.
The next day, the terrible news was reported that Hitchbot had been vandalized and completely destroyed. News reporters and Anchors from various news stations were reaching out to me to hear about his last moments alive, so Ed and I decided to do an interview, but to prank the news during the interview as Ed’s character “Always Teste.”
We were upset about the vandalism of Hitchbot and went in search to find any Surveillance footage of the area that may have existed, so we could find out who the killer was! We had no luck, and then the idea sparked for us to create fake surveillance footage of “Always Teste,” Ed’s character and PRANK THE NEWS!! We bought similar parts and rebuilt the arms of the robot to utilize in the surveillance video. We placed a camera at the scene where Hitchbot was last seen and where his remains were found.
I edited the video to look like a true “surveillance video” and I sent it off to the news because they had all been asking me for interviews and information. The reporters began reporting, showing the footage, and the alleged killer of this so called famous robot! It actually unexpectedly became trending World-Wide top story news! So I gathered some of the news stories and revealed the prank of the REAL FULL VERSION of the Surveillence Footage, showing that indeed, it was just a joke and that “Teste” was not the killer, nor was the robot even real.
I guess this just goes to show that not everything that you hear on the news is real, or for that matter, what you hear from anybody. WE PRANKED THE NEWS, WORLDWIDE!!!
We wanted to raise awareness of the situation and all of the negativity that was now being associated with Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, and for people to realize that all Philadelphians are not bad people. I reached out to the creator of Hitchbot, David Harris Smith, to see if he had or would like to setup a gofund me account, or kickstarter to rebuild a newer, better Hitchbot himself, with HIS TRUE creators. (There was a person who had created an account which got cancelled because he was not the true creator). David is currently doing the research and may have something set up in a few days. In the meantime, if you would like to help the Hitchbot movement, please show them support by following their social media.