At one point, engineers plan for a moment when robots are a normal part of everyday life, providing care to children and seniors and offering work. For humans, facial expressions are unmarked means of communicating and playing an important role in creating trust between people. Scientists work on creating a robot that can use appropriate facial expressions at the right time.
Columbia Engineering Laboratory Engineers have been working for half a decade to create a robot called Eva, a new autonomous robot with a soft, expressive face, it is able to respond to the expressions of humans nearby. One of the researchers on the project, Hod Lipson, said Eva’s idea began to form several years ago.
Lipson, The James and Sally Scapa Professor of Innovation and Director of the Machine Creation Laboratory, said he and his students began to notice that robots working shelves and other tasks in the real world were humanized by people who worked with them. Humanization has taken the form of things like googly eyes and hats by hand. The researchers felt that if the addition of things like hats and clothes to the robots made them more humane and relativable, build a robot with an expressive face would do even more.
The team says that the biggest challenge of creating their core robot a sufficiently compact system to adapt inside the limits of a human skull and functional enough to produce a range of facial expressions. The team used 3D printing to build parts with complex shapes that can be seamlessly integrated into the skull of the machine. Once the mechanical part of the mechanics sorted, the team moved into the next phase that involved the programming of the AI to guide the movements of the face.
EVA uses the learning to read, then mirror expressions on neighboring human faces. I learned the new human expressions by trial and errors to watch videos of itself. The team admits that EVA is always a laboratory