Every day you might come across some newly designed robot, but this will be the most expressive robot you will see, to date.
Attendees at the SIGGRAPH, in Vancouver, had the chance to interact with one of the most expressive robots, dubbed the Simulative Emotional Expression Robot (SEER), whose humanoid head was created by Japanese artist, Takayuki Todo.
The expressive robot is equipped with a camera which allows SEER to make eye contact with you or imitate your facial expressions. With this cute face, this robot seems to be generating empathy with the public instead of pushing them away. When the robot is in imitative mode, SEER accommodates its eyebrows, eyelids and position of its head to mimic the viewer.
With its realistic eyes and its delicate neutral sculpting, its facial expression appears to be almost too human. As for the way the robot makes eye contact, the robot follows your eye-movement around, making uninterrupted contact.
The robot is not perfect, it occasionally freaks out or vibrates due to noisy face data, but when it works, it seems to manage a rather good version of what facial expressions it picks up.
This is currently just an art project, but the technology behind it is definitely the kind of thing you can expect to be integrated with virtual assistants. The robot's movements look remarkably natural, and even tiny changes in the tilt of its head or the widening of its eyes are perfectly replicated in real-time. Whether all of this is a good or a bad thing is something we will find out together.
In the meantime, you can see the robot in action in the video below.