The uncanny valley is a creepy place and the more people try to escape it the more it seems they get caught in it.
To create a robot we are more likely to accept, life-like expressions are vital. That’s why Nicole Lazzeri at the University of Pisa, Italy, and her colleagues have designed a “Hybrid Engine for Facial Expressions Synthesis” (HEFES) – a facial animation engine that gives realistic expressions to a humanoid robot called FACE.
FACE’s appearance is modelled on one of the team’s wives. “It’s really realistic,” says Lazzeri, who presented the work at BioRob in Rome last month. See for yourself in the video above.