The New Robot FACE

You ever hear that saying about how it takes 17 muscles to smile, 43 to frown? Aside from encouraging people to smile more, this should tell you something about the human face. Namely, that it’s got a very complex makeup, with many, many moving parts. So it goes without saying that creating an artificial face that could mimic human expressions would be one huge undertaking.

As it turns out, a recent story from Io9 reveals that researchers working for the University of Pisa have created a robot face that can actually pull most, if not all of them, off. Known as a “Hybrid Engine for Facial Expressions Synthesis” (HEFES) this robot has demonstrated the ability to portray a full range of emotions, though they admit that the grimace is still a bit off.

Designed using one of the team member’s wives as the model, the robot  is aptly named “FACE”. According to lead researcher, Nicole Lazzeri, the end result is “really realistic,” and also represents a major step forward in both robotics and AI research. Hmm, that make’s two steps forward, by my reckoning. To quote Ghost in the Shell: “It has a voice, now it just needs a body”!

The countdown to David 8 is on!

Check out the video of FACE making… ahem… faces!

Expressive Robot Face

10 thoughts on “The New Robot FACE

  1. Wasn’t there a horror movie about a writer who would spend half the year at her remote cabin working on her books who gets a robot compainon to do the heavy work around the place? She starts to fall for the robot and he turns into a homicidal maniac.

  2. whenever i hear about a new stage or level of machines imitating humans–google’s neural network, the robots that look human–i keep wondering when i have to start fighting terminators for my life. what’s your take.

    1. I just hope people remember to apply the Three Laws of Robotics. Then, the only danger will be our own dependency and vanity. If that doesn’t work, there’s always the option of a Butlerian Jihad!

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