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Will Better Facial Expressions Make Our Robot Overlords Easier To Understand?
July 12, 2012
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If some science fiction predictions end up coming true, robots might look a lot like us in the future (see the 'Alien' films, the 2004 'Battlestar Galactica' series, the 'Terminator' movies, and lots of other sci-fi for some pretty dystopian ideas on how that'll work out). But one thing current robotic technology hasn't managed too well is mimicking human facial expressions. Enter FACE, a realistic humanoid bust designed to closely mimic the facial expressions of human beings, created by Italian roboticists.

The bust is powered by the Hybrid Engine for Facial Expression Synthesis, or HEFES. Underneath the robot's polymer "skin" are 32 motors that adjust the robot's face based on the Facial Action Coding System (a system invented in 1978 to categorize the physical expression of emotions). Along with the ability to reproduce a specific emotion, the system supposedly lets users choose any "emotional space" between two or more emotions.

So if human-looking robots do take over the planet, will this technology make them easier to understand and relate to? See whether you're convinced by the new tech in the video below:

And for more potentially creepy lifelike robot goodness, check out these two human look-a-likes created by Japanese engineers:

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