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hitchBOT's Final Night in Philly on Video; SEPTA Special Papal Rail Lottery Demand Lower
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 08/03/15 11:04 pm | updated: 08/03/15 11:04 pm
Video of hitchBOT's final night in Philadelphia, including surveillance footage of the suspect who smashed the robot early on Saturday morning in Old City, has surfaced. The hitchhiking robot is a social experiment launched by Dr. David Smith and Dr. Frauke Zeller in Canada to see if the friendly looking machine can coax humans to carry it across the country. It has made journeys across Canada, Germany, and the Netherlands. It began a journey two weeks ago in the United Sates near Boston with the goal of San Fransisco. On Saturday night it met a group of video bloggers, Jesse Wellens and Ed Bassmaster, at the Art Museum steps. They took it to Independence Hall and dropped it off in the early AM on a bench outside historic Elfreth's Alley along 2nd Street. While sitting there, saying hi and asking for a ride as the robot does, a passerby is seen kicking it and walking off. It was found smashed the next morning. The creators said, “For now we will focus on the question 'what can be learned from this?' and explore future adventures for robots and humans.” Local techies, West Philly's The Hacktory, have offered to rebuild hitchBOT. They are hosting a “Drop in and Do” on Thursday from 7-9 p.m. Watch the videos below:

(scroll to the 7:30 point)

This is the surveillance video that purportedly shows the assailant attacking hitchBOT. The video was actually 'obtained' by video blogger/prankster Jesse Wellens. The man in the video is wearing what appears to be a #12 Randall Cunningham jersey and hat. That also happens to be the costume of Ed Bassmaster's character 'Always Teste'.

SEPTA officials have said that demand is lower than expected today for Special Regional Rail passes for the Papal Visit in September. Two weeks ago when SEPTA attempted to sell the passes all at the same time the e-commerce store they created could not handle the traffic that flooded the website in the first minutes and the site was shutdown. They spent the past weeks working with Ticketleap, a Philadelphia ticketing company, to design a lottery system to spread out traffic. The lottery opened up at 12:01 a.m. this morning and will be open until 11:59 a.m. tonight. It doesn't matter when you register, everyone will have the same chance to be selected. You choose the outlying stations you prefer, the days you want, and number of tickets, along with your name, etc. If you are selected you will get an email with payment instructions by Thursday. SEPTA is selling 175,000 passes for each day Saturday and Sunday or 350,000 total. Tickets are $10 one day round trip. Enter the lottery:

Partly cloudy, temperatures in the mid 80s this evening in Center City

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