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What is OpenQbo?
OpenQbo is an open source community, managed by Thecorpora robotic company, that develops Software/Hardware appliances in the fields of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence. Its initial focus was on the Q.bo robot, but its developments are intended to be as generic as possible, being applicable to other robotic or computer platforms.
OpenQbo's projects can be divided in Software and Hardware:
- OpenQbo Distro - a complete operating system based on Ubuntu. With this we pretend to have a complete base and a high level development system.
- Qbo applications - software applications to control the robot's behavior. Some of them are implemented using the ROS software platform.
- Qbo drivers - software drivers to interact with the Qbo boards or devices on the operating system level.
- Q.bo Robot Releases - Q.bo Basic Kit, Q.bo Complete Lite or Q.bo Complete Pro
- Q.boards - The Qbo Robot include 3 open-source hardware boards to control the actuators and the sensors - PR1, PR2, PR3
- Qbo Sensors/Actuators - such as cameras, RFCs, Servos, Motors
How can I install the OpenQbo distro?
Here is an install guide that you can follow.
Which features does OpenQbo incorporate?
The OpenQbo community develops several software applications. Some of these applications are versioned by GIT, and cab be downloaded using the package reposity of OpenQbo. Currently, some of the application include:
- Speech Recognition system
- Text to Speech processor
- Object and face recognizer
- A telepresence system
- A ROS driver to control the Q.bo robot
Additionally, the OpenQbo community has developed an Ubuntu-based distribution, specifically made for the Q.bo robot and the applications developed within the OpenQbo projects. This distribution incorporates:
- ROS Software Platform
- Speech Recognition software (Julius)
- Text to Speech processor (Festival)
- OpenCV library for computer vision
- OpenQbo package reposity
You can download or find more information regarding this distribution here.
Which hardware is supported?
Currently, we use the Q.bo robot from Thecorpora as the development platform.
Where can I find documentation of OpenQbo?
You can find most of the documentation in this wiki. However, you can use the OpenQbo Forum of you have any specific question.
What does “Open Source” mean?
Open source mean that all the source code is available for it's study, modification and redistribution.
Why it is such a good thing working with Open Source?
- Open Source is perfect for investigation allowing everybody to modify the software and test it.
- You can create a new application or behaviour for the robot without any restriction.
- The algorithms of the robot can be freely used in other robots.
- You can use the software without paying anything and without buying a robot
What is the OpenQbo software license?
OpenQbo maintains a group of software, each one having it's own license. Most of the Qbo Apps are released under the open source GPL v2 license and the LGPL v2.1 for libraries. In the source code of each application, you should find its specific license.
Does OpenQbo is supported by more languages besides English?
Currently, many applications are expected to work only in English because of the speech recognition and voice synthesizer we use. However, we expect to support other languages in the future.
Which is the required knowledge to develop under the OpenQbo plataform?
It is recommended to have good programming skills to develop applications for the OpenQbo Project. Most of the developed applications are made under the Willow Garage's software platform ROS. We have developed a ROS driver interface for the Q.bo robot, which anyone can use to extract sensor data from the Q.bo Robot and move the servos and motors of the robot. We have also developed ROS nodes to extract recognized speech, synthesize voice from text and ROS nodes to access to the webcam's images. All these ROS nodes are part of Q.bo apps and can be used by anyone interact with the Q.bo robot, making it easy to program your own Q.bo applications that reuse this ROS nodes. Nevertheless, if you're going to implement a ROS node, we recommend you to go the ROS wiki page and follow its tutorials.
Which is the current state of the project?
Currently, the OpenQbo Distro is in the beta phase, as well as Q.bo apps that can be seen here.
What is the relationship between OpenQbo and Thecorpora?
TheCorpora is the creator and the driving force behind the OpenQbo project and the company responsible for manufacturing and selling the Q.bo robot in both the Kit and Complete version. The OpenQbo project aims to be an open community dedicated to the development of open-source software and hardware related to Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, having as a standard development platform the Q.bo robot.