Researchers at the University of California San Diego's (UCSD's) California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) have outfitted a robot modeled after Albert Einstein with special software that enables it to interact with people in a more human-like manner. The Einstein Robot recognizes several human facial expressions and can respond accordingly, which the researchers say will help them understand how robots and humans perceive emotion, and potentially lead to similar robots that can serve as teachers, entertainers, or therapists. "In the short term, Einstein is being used to develop computer vision so we can see how computers perceive facial expressions and develop hardware to visually react," says Javier Movellan, a researcher at Calit2's UCSD Machine Perception Laboratory. "This robot is a scientific instrument that we hope will tell us something about human-robot interaction, but also human-to-human interaction."
The robot contains 31 motors that need to be properly choreographed to create accurate expressions. A smile requires coordinating 17 motors in the manipulation of multiple articulation points around the mouth and eyes. The robot's facial recognition software is based on computational algorithms that are derived from more than a million facial images. The software enables the robot to understand and respond to expressions of sadness, anger, fear, happiness, and confusion, as well as facial clues that suggest age and gender.
From UCSD News
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