Qbo, the open-source robot, interacts with people, makes adorable mistakes (video)
A while back we got a detailed look at the innards of Qbo, TheCorpora's open-source robot. But we haven't gotten to see the little guy in action -- until now. His handlers recently let him loose to run autonomously, guided by a pair of webcam eyes and voice recognition courtesy of Willow Garage's ROS software. The team soon noticed some unexpected behavior, though. Despite being programmed to follow humans at a specific distance, Qbo trailed uncomfortably near with taller people -- probably the first example of a robotic "close walker." Poring over the log files revealed why: proximity was calculated based on faces. The faces of taller people were farther away from the ground-hugging robot, which adjusted accordingly. Roll your way down the page to see more of our cute mechanized friend, and over to the source link for more musings on programming him.