Video Surfaces of HitchBOT's Destruction in Philadelphia
"We wish to remember the good times, and we encourage hitchBOT s friends and fans to do the same," the robot's creators said in a statement
The world may have an answer as surveillance footage has surfaced showing an unidentified man in what appears to be an Eagles jersey, destroying the robot on a street in Philadelphia.
The beloved robot was just two weeks into its U.S. road trip when it was picked up by YouTube star Jesse Wellens in Philadelphia.
The popular vlogger shared a video of his encounter with hitchBOT, which concluded with the robot being dropped off on Elfreth’s Alley, the country’s oldest residential street.
After expressing his outrage at the robot’s demise, Wellens claimed to have obtained surveillance footage of the bot’s final moments.
In the footage posted to Snapchat, an unidentified man (wearing what appears to be a Randall Cunningham Eagles jersey) kicks an unseen target repeatedly as detached arms lay on the sidewalk nearby.
The timestamp on the footage indicates that the individual destroyed hitchBOT at 5:46 a.m. on Saturday, August 1 – just hours after it was dropped off by Wellens.
HitchBOT’s co-creators told reporters that they have been overwhelmed by offers to help and are considering rebuilding the bot. David Smith, a professor at McMaster University and co-creator, told CBC News that the robot’s demise had been particularly hard on its younger fans.
“We want to let them know that a robot is not entirely like a person. Unlike people, robots can be rebuilt,” he said.
As the bot’s thousands of fans look for someone to blame, its creators are focused on their next steps. “We are not in the business of blame,” Smith added. “We have a lot of work to do.”
An official statement attributed to the family of hitchBOT says the creators have no plans to press charges or locate the individuals who vandalized the beloved bot. “We wish to remember the good times, and we encourage hitchBOT s friends and fans to do the same,” they wrote.
The Philadelphia police department tells PEOPLE that there will be no investigation into the matter as the robot’s owners have not filed a report.
Prior to coming its fateful trip in the U.S., hitchBOT completed successful treks across Canada, Germany, and the Netherlands.