Cambridge robots create facial expressions

While in America, Boston Dynamics is improvingtheir robot SpotMini, gradually turning it into a "real" killer dog, their fellow robotics from the University of Cambridge in England continue to work on a conspirator robot that can simulate expressions of human emotions.

Development of a robot named Charles underPeter Robinson, a professor at the University of Cambridge, has been leading it since 2015. During this time, the machine has become much better at recognizing and repeating facial expressions of a person.

Charles became part of the computer department programScience and Technology University of Cambridge. Its employees are exploring different ways people and robots interact. They suggested that the presence of emotions in the responses of the machine would make “communication” more familiar.

“We were wondering if the computer could understandsocial signals, facial expression, tone of voice, postures and gestures of a person. We thought it would be interesting to know if this robot would repeat. Will people interact with him more often if there are more emotions in the answers of the car? So we got Charles, ”explained Professor Robinson.

However, despite all attempts to make the robot smile or frown as a person, Charles still looks rather strange.

“Charles is incredibly realistic. The design is amazing, but despite this, mechanical motors can not compete with real muscles. Our facial expression control programs are still far from ideal. Analytical software, too, cannot be called perfect, so facial expressions look so unnatural, ”says Professor Robinson.

Charles's facial muscles are controlled by 24 motors. The robot can move the eyebrows, mouth, jaw and other parts of the structure. The signal to them comes from a computer on which software is installed that analyzes data from the camcorder. She takes a human face and sends a picture to a computer. The whole process takes no more than three seconds.

"Most people who see him celebrateits “unnaturalness”, which, in turn, shows well that people are able to notice when something changes in a person’s facial expressions. We immediately begin to suspect that something is wrong with this person. ”

However, according to Robinson, even in this form, Charles is more interested in people than an ordinary robot.

“Everyone is simply fascinated by him. Show it at the bottom of open doors, and a crowd will instantly gather around, ”the robotics commented.

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