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The Robot Smiled Back

EVA practicing random facial expressions by recording what they look like to a camera.

Researchers in the Creative Machines Lab at Columbia Engineering worked for five years to create EVA, an autonomous robot with an expressive face that responds to match the expressions of nearby humans.

Credit: Columbia Engineering

Columbia Engineering researchers have spent five years developing an autonomous robot with a face that mimics the expressions of nearby humans.

Development of the EVA robot began with the construction of its physical mechanisms, engineered as a disembodied bust with a blue-colored face that can express basic, as well as subtler, emotions via artificial muscles.

The researchers used three-dimensional printing to manufacture complex components that could fit into EVA's human-sized skull without losing functionality.

EVA employs deep learning artificial intelligence to "read," then imitate, expressions on nearby human faces, and learned to mimic faces by watching videos of itself.

The robot eventually became capable of reading human facial gestures from a camera, and of responding by mirroring those facial expressions.

From Columbia Engineering
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