Qbo robot strips for open-source titillation

Apr 4, 2012
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The Qbo robot may be open-source, but open-casing is what creators TheCorpora have been showing recently, stripping the sensor-studded 'bot down and then reconstructing it in a new timelapse video. Intended to be straightforward for robotics tinkerers to put together themselves, the footage shows the 168 minute build from the basic Qbo frame up to the various ultrasonic sensors, PC mainboard, camera-toting head and more.

In total there are five hardware boards that TheCorpora have designed, the specifications of which will be released under open-source licensing for others to play with. They'll be paired with standard EMG-30 motors, SRF10 ultrasonic sensors, an LCD, storage, a PC motherboard and "many other components" before being hidden by the plastic body panels.

However, although the expectation is that most will probably choose the Qbo base platform to work from, that's not to say it's a requirement. As long as there's sufficient room in your platform of choice, there's plenty of flexibility; if you'd rather have an intelligent Dalek rather than the altogether cuter Qbo then you can.

Exactly how intelligent that Dalek can be might surprise you. Although Qbo looks toylike, it can use 3D sensors similar to Microsoft's Kinect for digital terrain mapping and navigation, identify people and objects and recognize them subsequently, and even use crowdsourcing to boost its skills. There's also an Android remote control app for using Qbo as a telepresence or security system.

Luckily for those who are more hands-off with their tech, TheCorpora will be offering a fully-constructed version of the Qbo so that you can leave your screwdrivers in the toolbox. Pricing and availability are still yet to be confirmed, though the 'bot is said to be coming "very soon."


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