Saturday, December 3, 2011

Qbo robot sees and recognises itself in the mirror

A pudgy robot rolls up to a mirror and checks out its reflection. After a few moments of consideration, it reacts: "Oh. This is me. Nice."
Qbo is not the first robot to recognise its reflection - that honour goes to a bot called Nico - but it is possibly the cutest. The open-source robot is equipped with two cameras that give it stereoscopic vision and is programmed with facial and object recognition software.
It learns to recognise objects by extracting unique features from the images captured by the pair of cameras and storing them in its database, with help from a human assistant who prompts Qbo with questions, such as "What is this?", and provides object names. "Myself" is stored as a special object along with some quirky lines of dialogue that help give Qbo a personality.
"This quite simple experiment touches interesting psychological aspects of self-consciousness," writes Qbo creator Francisco Paz on his blog. "In this first version, a human guide presents Qbo to himself, but we are working so as the robot could present and self-recognise himself autonomously when found in front of the mirror."

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