Robot Can Make Faces at You

Robots that can make facial expressions are not new, but this one is by far the most realistic one yet.  Over 30 artificial muscles, each controlled by a servo allow this robot to control facial movements to a degree not seen before.  Einstein, as the robot is called, is capable of learning how to smile and make other faces by a process of self-guided learning.  In humans, this would be called inquiry learning.  During the experiments, the robot experienced a failure in one of the servos controlling a muscle, still it was able to learn to compensate for this by moving other servos to accomplish the desired facial response.  You can read more about this at the links below.  Also, check out the UCSD blog page.  There is even a video that shows the robot in action.  Admittedly, the video is somewhat creepy in that it is very realistic.  Robots that look too human can be disconcerting, to say the least.

Robot Einstein 2

Photo Credit: Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego

ScienceDaily (July 8, 2009) — A hyper-realistic Einstein robot at the University of California, San Diego has learned to smile and make facial expressions through a process of self-guided learning. The UC San Diego researchers used machine learning to “empower” their robot to learn to make realistic facial expressions. “As far as we know, no other research group has used machine learning to teach a robot to make realistic facial expressions,” said Tingfan Wu, the computer science Ph.D. student from the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering who presented this advance on June 6 at the IEEE International Conference on Development and Learning.

While the primary goal of this work was to solve the engineering problem of how to approximate the appearance of human facial muscle movements with motors, the researchers say this kind of work could also lead to insights into how humans learn and develop facial expressions.

Learning to Make Facial Expressions,” by Tingfan Wu, Nicholas J. Butko, Paul Ruvulo, Marian S. Bartlett, Javier R. Movellan from Machine Perception Laboratory, University of California San Diego. Presented on June 6 at the 2009 IEEE 8th International Conference On Development And Learning.
Adapted from materials provided by University of California – San Diego.

Electronics & Robotics,News & Press – A Blog by F.Intilla (WWW.OLOSCIENCE.COM)

A hyper-realistic Einstein robot at the University of California, San Diego has learned to smile and make facial expressions through a process of self-guided learning.

Robot Learns to Smile and Frown
Thu, 09 Jul 2009 08:25:28 GMT

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