Martedì, 16 Ottobre 2018

Italian-made android can replicate human facial expressions


(ANSA) – Rome, October 31 – It may not yet be like the very
human-looking Nexus 6 Replicants of Blade Runner fame, but a
new, Italian-made android called FACE is getting pretty close.
The new android, to be presented at Genova’s Science
Festival on November 3, gets its name from the acronym Facial
Automaton for Conveying Emotions, which pretty much sums up its
main capability: its ability to reproduce facial emotions.
The new machine was built at Pisa University’s Piaggio
research center and can interact empathically with human beings
using non-verbal forms of communication like facial expressions.
"The robot’s social interactions are made possible by
micro-cameras placed in its eyes and microphones in the ears,
which allow it to shift its gaze towards humans, analyze their
facial expressions and gestures and from these infer their
emotional state," Danilo De Rossi, the project coordinator, told
"The information thus collected by the robot allows it to
reproduce the expression best suited to the occasion," De Rossi
The robot’s expressions are controlled by a series of
miniature motors placed between its skin and the underlying
'bone' structure and functions in the same way as human face
The robot can elaborate a range of facial expressions,
including anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness and surprise.
FACE is was also conceived as a way to better treat people
affected by autism, De Rossi said, because with the robot
"communication is much easier with respect to the human form and
the person affected with autism can concentrate on a number of
limited and easily reproducible emotional expressions".

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