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: A robot to help improve wine production

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

Skin device uses motion to power electronics

40 minutes ago

Can a skin patch power wearables? Skin-based generators have become an area of focus among researchers working on how to scavenge muscle motion whereby skin becomes a charge-collector. A detailed report in ...

2011 vehicle models with highest and lowest death rates

1 hour ago

The Insurance Institute for Highway safety examined fatalities involving 2011 model year vehicles, looking at how many driver fatalities occurred in a particular model over the course of a year of operation, expressed as ...

Facebook adds 'tips' in potential Yelp challenge

1 hour ago

Facebook on Thursday launched a new feature that automatically provides tips about places where members of the social network might be, potentially challenging review websites like Yelp.

New app first to use gesture for language learning

1 hour ago

While you might think a person shaking her phone or tablet from side to side is having issues with the device, she might actually be playing a game that has her mimicking a steering wheel motion as part of ...

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)

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.