The nightmare robot world of countless sci-fi films and books appears to be getting closer and closer to reality. We're seeing fascinating and startling advances in robotics all the time.
One recent example would be the Nao, we looked at about a week ago, showing that robots are getting better at just about everything.
There's some pretty interesting stuff going on at The Corpora Robotic Company as well. Some video of its QBO robot discovering itself in the mirror has been making the rounds in social media:
If that wasn't fun enough, the company decided to introduce the robot to a friend:
The company says in a blog post:
From an early age, humans learn to recognize themselves before a mirror using two mechanisms: we have learned how we look like since we are 8 months old, and we verify if our actions or movements are “replicated” in the image of the mirror. Because we are aware of the actions we take and we can recognize those actions in the mirror’s reflection, we have the ability to distinguish ourselves from another “identical” being if we were placed in front of he/she. This is the problem that a robot like Qbo must face in the case of being in front of a mirror or find another robot identical to him.
Inspired by this process of self-recognition in humans, we developed a new ROS node 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.
Did you know that robots are being used as prison guards in South Korea? Not these robots, but if you start looking at the various advancements in robotics it starts to get a little scary.