Let’s face it, the robots that currently walk the earth (or rather the engineering test labs) don’t quite match up to the androids that the movies have promised us.
Honda’s humanoid robot ASIMO has shown us that we do in fact have the technology to create some intelligent androids, but all previous attempts to give these robots an expressive facial appearance have done nothing but freak people out.
So, some of the big brains from the Technical University of Munich’s Cognition for Technical Systems Cluster of Excellence and Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, have decided that its about time robots got real and have banded together to create a solution to this robotic problem – Mask-bot!
Mask-bot’s creators have moved away from creating faces with artificial skin and complicated motors and instead have developed a way of projecting a three-dimensional human face onto a transparent plastic mask.
With a projector located behind the mask, they have been able to transmit realistic images of a human face that can be viewed from a variety of angles.
The researchers have even developed an animation engine that replicates facial expressions that perfectly matches the speech produced by the robot. As it’s still in the development stages, Mask-bot currently has a limited understanding of speech and can only respond to a set number of phrases correctly.