This is a robotic face that's been designed and programmed to be able to imitate human facial expressions. What expression is she making? Hell if I know -- derpy maybe? HURRRRRRRR. The face was modeled after one of the scientist's wives, and the concept is that, if robotic faces are able to accurately portray human facial expressions, we'll be more inclined to leap the "uncanny valley" and feel more at ease with our future humanoid overlords. That...is a pretty stupid concept. I'd feel way more at ease if robots were just f***ing boxes that talked.
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.
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.
To create expressions they used a combination of motor movements based on the Facial Action Coding System (FACS) - a system created over 30 years ago which codes facial expressions in terms of anatomic muscle movements.
Hey -- you know how when you were a kid you used to believe that if you made an ugly face and somebody slapped you on the back that you'd get stuck that way? God you were a stupid child. Let me guess, you were probably afraid to step on cracks too.
Hit the jump for a video of the thing derping out.
Thanks to Pauvo, who agrees the only human emotion he wants to see on a robot is PAIN. Yeah -- and fire! "Fire's not an emotion." YOU SHUT YOUR MOUTH.