You might say the ability to recognize itself in a mirror is a robot's first step toward self-awareness. Qbo has not only achieved that goal, it can also distinguish itself from other identical machines and carry on a simple conversation using speech synthesis (Festival) and recognition (Julius) programs. The researchers at TheCorpora simulated self-awareness through simplified mimicry of the way humans recognize themselves: we learn what we look like and verify by checking to see if our actions are mirrored.

In the first video below, Qbo learns to recognize its own image after seeing itself in the mirror. The second video shows the robot verifying the identity of the squatty machine it sees using randomly generated nose flashes. If the nose flashes don't match the ones it generates, the little green robot knows it's met another of its "species" and runs its awkward seduction routine. Of course, this particular instance of "consciousness" is done programmatically rather than arising naturally out of a deeper awareness of self. However, if the Turing test applies, once consciousness can be fully simulated, it won't make any difference how it's done.