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Robot roadkill: Adorable hitchhiking Hitchbot found mutilated

Hitchbot was trying to make its way across the US, relying on the kindness of strangers. This weekend it was found beheaded. This is why we can't have nice things, America!

Hitchbot in happier times as he sets out to explore America. Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

There's something desperately sad about an innocent-looking robot -- who just wants to see the sights and make friends -- being destroyed as it tries to hitchhike across the good old US of A.

This was Hitchbot, a robot who managed to complete trips across Canada, Germany and the Netherlands, without a hitch, so to speak. It lasted two weeks in America.

Unable to move itself, Hitchbot traveled the world relying entirely on the kindness of human strangers. Considering the simple robot looks more like a bad sci-fi costume than a movie star like Chappie or R2-D2, its previous happy travels were impressive.

"No one from the team will accompany Hitchbot," its creators, David Harris Smith and Frauke Zeller, told CNET's Crave blog in a previous article about his Canada trip. "It will be like the Mars rover, only instead of exploring Mars, it is exploring human social life here in Canada."

Hitchbot is equipped with GPS, 3G, video and audio, which perhaps made it more likely to be mugged than mutilated by vandals. With its metal torso wrapped in flexible solar panels, and foam arms ready for handshaking and hugs, Hitchbot was hardly the Terminator.

In its first journal entry before heading to the States, Hitchbot wrote and vlogged, "I hope to complete items from my hitchhiking bucket list with the help of friendly strangers." Oh.

Hitchbot had a couple of good weeks exploring New York City and Boston, as you can see from its almost giddy tweets -- he even took in a Red Sox baseball game at Fenway Park.

Hitchbot looks like a horror film victim in this tweet from journalist Lauren O'Neil. Twitter screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

Once Hitchbot reached Philadelphia, however, its welcome ran out. In a graphic photo posted by Canadian journalist Lauren O'Neil, we see Hitchbot with its arms ripped off and its head missing.

The city's famous brotherly love apparently only extends to humans. While much sci-fi is concerned with whether we can trust robots, this attack might prove something its creators were hoping to test -- whether robots should trust us.

There is, however, a silver (chrome?) lining: Unlike many good robots who eventually turn on their meatbag masters, the now disembodied Hitchbot doesn't hold any grudges against those who harmed it.

"Oh dear, my body was damaged, but I live on back home and with all my friends," Hitchbot wrote on its website. "I guess sometimes bad things happen to good robots! My trip must come to an end for now, but my love for humans will never fade. Thank you to all my friends."

We hope you get better soon and finish your bucket list, Hitchbot.