Documenting the Coming Singularity

Monday, July 13, 2009

When you're (robot is) smiling

Editor's Note: When people smile at me, I tend to feel more safe with them, more friendly towards them. That's why we smile at people, especially strangers. If robots, or artificial persons, are going to move about and interact with the rest of us effectively, it stands to reason that they'll need to know when to smile, frown, bare their teeth, etc. Which is what this fellow is learning.

Technology Review - July 10, 2009, by Kristina Grifantini

The UCSD robot watches itself to learn how to pull new facial expressions. (Photo Courtesy of UCSD)

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), who demoed a realistic-looking robot Einstein at the TED Conference last February, have now gone a step farther, infusing the robot with the ability to improve its own expressions through learning.

Previously, the head of the robot--designed by Hanson Robotics--could only respond to the people around it using a variety of preprogrammed expressions. With 31 motors and a realistic skinlike material called Frubber, the head delighted and surprised TED conference goers last winter.

Read entire story>>

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