Building a robot is a lofty goal. It’s not rooted in science-fiction for no reason, after all. It doesn’t help when the price to build one can be pretty high. So, what’s the best thing for someone to do? Well, for Francisco Paz, that meant that there was only one logical conclusion: make it open source. That way anyone who wanted to jump on board the project, or follow in Paz’s footsteps could do just that, and at a much cheaper cost for parts and research. We introduced the Qbo robot to you just a few days ago, but now we’ve got a few more details, and we wanted to pass them along.
As of right now, Qbo has only a few skills at its disposal. However, those skills are pretty impressive for a robot that doesn’t have any arms, and a big head. Don’t let the no arms thing scare you: Paz intended to keep the arms off the ‘bot, due to the high cost of resources. Right now, the Qbo is apparently constructed of more than 30 plastic parts, making it one of the more intricate robots out there, for sure. Especially its small size. And that small size is meant for a reason: to make sure that the robot can interact with you in a way that seems (almost) natural, and doesn’t necessarily get in the way. Unobtrusive, it seems.
Now, let’s get down into the skills, where the meat and bones of this little robot are. First, it features stereoscopic vision, which includes: webcam calibration for two webcams; depth, face, color, and object recognition; the ability to track faces and objects; and right now there’s even a map generating software being currently tested. Speech recognition is thrown in for good measure, making sure that you can talk to your Qbo, too. Other features include Speech Synthesis systems, a WEB control panel, an Internet connection thanks to a WiFi controller in the head, the ability to avoid obstacles thanks to the ultrasound sensors, and finally the ability to autocharge the battery, which is still being tested. As of right now, there’s still no word on when it will get released, or even finished, but if the schematics are any sign, it’s looking very, very good.
[via The Corpora]