Dino Tsembelis

‘Hitchbot’ makes Nanaimo stop

A Calgary school project has made its way to the Harbour City and is looking for someone to take it on the next leg of its adventure.

A school project on Canadian identity has made its way to the Harbour City and is awaiting the next leg of its adventure.

Grade 4/5 students from Erin Woods School in Calgary created a robot, nicknamed Hitchbot Rose-Alee, and are relying on strangers to bring her across the country, similar to the 2014 HitchBot project from Ontario. The students want to know what Canadian identity is and would like people to take Rose-Alee on the ‘ultimate Canadian adventure,’ dropping her off at various locations and providing updates via social media.

Dino Tsembelis, visitor services specialist at the visitor centre on Northfield Road, said someone travelling from Osoyoos dropped Rose-Alee off on the long weekend. There is a checklist of places that students are hoping people will take her, including Haida Gwaii, to learn about the Haida, and Yellowknife to check out the Northern Lights.

Rose-Alee’s next stop is dependent on strangers, and while Nanaimo isn’t listed, Tsembelis is hoping a Nanaimoite can show her some Harbour City hospitality.

“Someone in Nanaimo could take Rose-Alee on the Nanaimo Bar Trail,” Tsembelis said. “The Nanaimo Bar Trail is the sweetest trail in town where folks can follow the self-guided tour of our Canadian iconic dessert … this delicious triple-layer treat is a staple of Nanaimo’s past.”

As for where else Rose-Alee could go, Tsembelis said it could be Tadoussac, Que. for whale watching.

“We have a lot of French-Canadian travellers, so I could really see that one happening … we have a lot of people in [recreational vehicles] going back and forth. Our stat sheets have it that we have a lot of people from Quebec, so someone’s going to have to take it back in their RV, I think,” said Tsembelis.

Students ultimately hope Hitchbot Rose-Alee will make it back to the Calgary school.

Rose-Alee was still at the visitor’s centre as of 4 p.m. on Wednesday.

To follow Rose-Alee’s adventures please see @HitchbotWoods on Twitter, @hitchbotwoods on Instagram or go to http://hitchbot.weebly.com.

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