The Hobbits, scientifically known as Homo floresiensis, are cousins to the anatomically modern human, Homo sapiens. With the same genus (Homo), they also had many similarities to humans. Homo floresiensis was significantly smaller in stature than Homo sapiens, reaching heights not much taller than 3.5 feet. Their height and disproportionately large feet led scientists to nickname them Hobbits, after J. R. R. Tolkien's beloved dwarf characters from the Lord of the Rings.
To learn more, take a look at this article from the New York Times!