OpenTechLab, a technical laboratory located in the Liberec region, is hoping to enter the Czech book of records — and gain worldwide recognition — with its latest innovation: a hitchhiking robot.
Affectionately dubbed Matylda by designer Michal Seidl and his partner Radka, the interactive humanoid robot was created on a 3D printer. She will begin her journey on October 25, hitching rides to her ultimate destination of Pelhřimov over 200 kilometers from her “home” in Jablonec nad Nisou.
Seidl is counting on the kindness of strangers to transport Matylda and has set up several fan pages across social media networks to dispatch information on the proper care of Matylda.
If a driver encounters Matylda and picks her up, she will explain to you who she is and where she wants to go, Seidl explains on the HitHit page Robotí autostop (Robot hitchhiker).
“She’s wearing sensors, and they’re evaluating whether she’s in the tracking phase or…the carrying stage. According to this, she adapts her behavior,” Seidl told Liberec iDnes.cz.
The length of time spent with Matylda should not exceed 24 hours.
Seidl is slightly worried that his creation could meet the same fate as her American predecessor Hitchbot, whose travels in the US in 2015 came to a premature end at the hand of vandals in Philadelphia.
Matylda will be illuminated with LED lights and will be carrying what Seidl calls a “first aid kit” — a roll of duct tape — in case of injury.