Expressive face helps robot bridge ’uncanny valley’
2012-07-13 0:00

By Helen Thomson | NewScientist.com

A good-looking robot is seriously hard to find. Robots can be pretty, some even handsome, but as soon as they get too realistic they start to creep us out. A new system for helping robots to generate more realistic expressions might go some way to help.

Many years ago, roboticists realised that as you morph an abstract robot into a human you generate a peak of unease - the "uncanny valley principle" - that makes people feel uncomfortable when a robot looks realistic but not realistic enough. Some say it’s because they remind us of a corpse. However, research has shown that if you manipulate the robotic images so that they are more attractive, you can bypass this feeling of unease.




To create a robot we are more likely to accept, life-like expressions are vital. That’s why Nicole Lazzeri at the University of Pisa, Italy, and her colleagues have designed a "Hybrid Engine for Facial Expressions Synthesis" (HEFES) - a facial animation engine that gives realistic expressions to a humanoid robot called FACE.

FACE’s appearance is modelled on one of the team’s wives. "It’s really realistic," says Lazzeri, who presented the work at BioRob in Rome last month. See for yourself in the video above.

To mimic the myriad expressions that facial muscles are capable of achieving, the team placed 32 motors around FACE’s skull and upper torso that manipulate its polymer skin in the same way that real muscles do.

[...]


Read the full article at: newscientist.com





Related Articles
"Most realistic" robot legs developed
Meet ‘Robbie’: Darpa’s Seeing, Feeling, Two-Armed Robot
Paralysed woman drinks coffee with thought-guided robot arm (Who said caffeine isn’t addictive?)
DARPA’s New Robot Conquers Stairs
Robotic Fish Accepted by Real Fish as Leader
Pentagon’s Project ‘Avatar’: Same as the Movie, but With Robots Instead of Aliens
5 Creepy Ways Humans Are Plunging Into the Uncanny Valley


Latest News from our Front Page

Facebook completes first drone flight above UK, Mark Zuckerberg confirms
2015-03-28 3:15
Solar powered drones which provide internet access to rural and remote areas have been trialled in UK for first time by Facebook. They “have a wingspan greater than a Boeing 737 but will weigh less than a car”, according to the social network's chief Mark Zuckerberg. The drones, developed by Somerset-based company Ascenta which Facebook bought last March, will beam down laser-guided ...
300 Young English Girls (and a few Boys) Groomed and Assaulted by Oxfordshire "Gangs," Report Finds
2015-03-28 2:04
Editor's note: This story is a few days old now but the echoes of Rotherham just keeps coming. A few weeks ago there was Halifax, now Britain proudly can add Oxfordshire to their line up of diversity success stories. Below is the story from the telegraph: Serious case review finds failings by police and social services as it identifies hundreds of victims A ...
British POW describes the horror of the bombing of Dresden
2015-03-28 0:33
Partial Transcript of Interview with Victor Gregg, WW2 British solder and POW: Interviewer: "Tell us how it was that you were in Dresden at that time." Victor Gregg: "It was evil....thousands of firebombs dropping all over the place, heat, fire, people screaming, people burning, people alight. After about half an hour it started developing into something that was really bad....It was ...
Rape of 285,000 German Women at the End of WWII Trigger Damage Control by Mainstream Media
2015-03-27 20:25
Is Exposing Allied War Crimes an honorable act? No, it’s slandering heroes according to Daily Mail A recent article from the Daily Mail that pretends to look at the post WWII crimes and rapes of the Allies against the German people is actually damage control. It’s really an attempt to divert away from the true horrors that was visited upon Germany ...
Minister of Migration attacked by asylum seeker with fire extinguisher
2015-03-27 2:12
Sweden’s Minister of Justice & Migration also known as Morgan “only 1%” Johansson, has been attacked with a fire extinguisher when he visited an asylum home for future Swedes. Regional newspaper, Kristiandstadsbladet reported that a man who had been living at the home for a couple of weeks grabbed a fire extinguisher and sprayed foam all over the minister who didn’t ...
More News »