Open-source and DIY robotics should be the ideal match, but the expense of robot hardware often puts it out of reach for all but the most deep-pocketed enthusiast. Five years ago Francisco Paz decided to produce not only his own robot, Qbo, but to open-source the project so that hopefully the cost of entry would be lower for anyone else wanting to follow in his footsteps.
Full specifications of Qbo are unclear - in fact we don't even have a full photo of the 'bot - but Paz has fleshed out some of his intentions. He wants to create the Ford Model T of hobby robots, an affordable platform with controller, memory, ultrasound sensors, webcams, compass, batteries and a physical framework, the Linux-based OS and an attractive casing to clad it in.
The guess is that Qbo will be able to do image processing, speech recognition, speech synthesis and object avoidance, things that would typically require a pretty expensive off-the-shelf robot or an expensive DIY project. Paz is promising to flesh things out with the full details soon.