Close encounters: When Daniel123 met Jane234 (w/ video)

Jan 04, 2012 by Nancy Owano report

(PhysOrg.com) -- Qbo robots created a stir recently when their developers succeeded in demonstrating that a Qbo can be trained to recognize itself in the mirror. Now the developers have taken their explorations into simulated consciousness a step further. A pair of Qbo robots, colored differently but still two Qbo entities, can recognize each other. Just as human earthling Harry met Sally, Qbo Daniel can meet Jane and they can exchange similarly empty-headed conversation.

Always posing the question what-if, Francisco Paz and his Madrid based team, The Corpora, developers of the Qbo, work with Qbo as a project. The accent is not on robots with human consciousness but on robots with simulated consciousness. Nonetheless, always asking the question what-if, they posed a teaser for themselves.

Now that they got the robot to recognize itself in the , what about when one Qbo is faced with another Qbo, stacking them both with and recognition software?

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

The Qbo is generally described as ; it runs on , has two cameras with stereoscopic vision and uses .

They developed bots that talk to each other through Festival, a speech synthesis system, and Julius, a speech recognition engine. In their latest Qbo scenario, a green Daniel123, unaware that a Jane might be on life’s table, is told by its master to turn around, and that is when it encounters blue Jane 234. Daniel appears to be aware that Jane is a Qbo. Daniel and Jane sniff each other out, so to speak, by being programmed to generate nose flashes, to distinguish that there is another individual robot.

The sniffing explanations make it tempting to imagine that the robots are independently flirting. The danger is to attribute human consciousness to robots that are not designed that way. Daniel may be able to understand it’s Jane, not himself, in the mirror, but only because it has been programmed that way by a clever human.

The Corpora team is the first to dispel any magical human consciousness. They detail what makes Daniel and Jane see each other as separate, but approachable, on the team blog:

“Inspired by this process of self-recognition in humans, we developed a new ROS [robot operating system] that is executed when the node “Object Recognizer,” previously trained, has identified a Qbo in the image. Using nose signals to see if the image seen by the robot matches its action, a Qbo can tell in real time whether he sees his image reflected in a mirror or he is watching another Qbo robot in front of him. The sequence of flashes of the nose is randomly generated in each process of recognition, so the probability that two robots generate the same sequence is very low, and even lower that they start to transmit it at the same time."

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.
November Qbo 2011 video


Explore further: SRI microrobots show fast-building factory approach (w/ video)

More information: thecorpora.com/blog/?p=854

Related Stories

Kilobots bring us one step closer to a robot swarm

Jun 17, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- When you think about robots, the odds are that you think about something that is fairly large. Maybe you picture a robot arms bolted to the floor of a factory or if you are feeling particularly ...

iRobot planning an Android-based robot

May 12, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- iRobot is working on robots that have the brains of an Android tablet. The goal is an Android-based tablet that is able to see the world around it, hear input from humans, respond and think ...

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a robot bird (w/ video)

Mar 29, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- The great thing about robots is that they come in all shapes and sizes. Of course, that is also one of the creepiest things about robots too. You never know what is going to be a robot these ...

Recommended for you

Simplicity is key to co-operative robots

Apr 16, 2014

A way of making hundreds—or even thousands—of tiny robots cluster to carry out tasks without using any memory or processing power has been developed by engineers at the University of Sheffield, UK.

Students turn $250 wheelchair into geo-positioning robot

Apr 16, 2014

Talk about your Craigslist finds! A team of student employees at The University of Alabama in Huntsville's Systems Management and Production Center (SMAP) combined inspiration with innovation to make a $250 ...

Using robots to study evolution

Apr 14, 2014

A new paper by OIST's Neural Computation Unit has demonstrated the usefulness of robots in studying evolution. Published in PLOS ONE, Stefan Elfwing, a researcher in Professor Kenji Doya's Unit, has succes ...

User comments : 4

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

ScottyB
3 / 5 (4) Jan 04, 2012
impressive stuff, amazing what you can do with a bit of code
Isaacsname
5 / 5 (2) Jan 04, 2012
Rofl...." Would you like to see my plug ? "

Xbw
2.6 / 5 (5) Jan 04, 2012
Ok who else wants to see Qbo and "Cat Brushing Robot" battle to the death?
HydraulicsNath
5 / 5 (2) Jan 05, 2012
This is really awesome! thumbs up to the researchers (who have helped reach this point in development)

More news stories

Hackathon team's GoogolPlex gives Siri extra powers

(Phys.org) —Four freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania have taken Apple's personal assistant Siri to behave as a graduate-level executive assistant which, when asked, is capable of adjusting the temperature ...

Better thermal-imaging lens from waste sulfur

Sulfur left over from refining fossil fuels can be transformed into cheap, lightweight, plastic lenses for infrared devices, including night-vision goggles, a University of Arizona-led international team ...

Chronic inflammation linked to 'high-grade' prostate cancer

Men who show signs of chronic inflammation in non-cancerous prostate tissue may have nearly twice the risk of actually having prostate cancer than those with no inflammation, according to results of a new study led by researchers ...