Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all? Well, Qbo didn’t say that as it rolled up to a mirror and looked at its reflection, but he does say “Oh. This is me. Nice.” I guess Qbo likes what he sees.
Qbo is an open-source robot with two cameras that give it stereoscopic vision and it is also programmed with facial and object recognition software. It can recognize objects by keying in on unique features from the images captured by those cameras and storing them in its database. A human helper prompts Qbo with questions and also gives him object names. When he sees himself, that image is stored as a special object along with some lines of dialogue that help give the robot its unique personality. Qbo does have a winning personality that is a little disconcerting. I’m not sure what it is, but it is captivating to watch.
The experiment touches on interesting psychological aspects of self-consciousness and can teach us a lot in time. Looking around and having a helper give things names is pretty much how small humans learn. They are hoping to one day get Qbo to self-recognize himself autonomously when in front of the mirror.