Researchers at Osaka University study the extent of Android facial expressions using motion capture cameras and determine the ways in which they still lack the complexity of true human reactions, which may help guide future robot design.
Credit: Ishihara, Iwanaga, and Asada, Comparison of Face Flow Lines for Androids and Humans, Frontiers in Robotics and Artificial Intelligence2021
OSAKA, Japan – Researchers from the Graduate School of Engineering and the University of Osaka University’s Symbiotic Intelligent Systems Research Center used motion capture cameras to compare robot expressions and human faces. They found that the robots’ mechanical facial movements, particularly in the upper regions, did not fully reproduce the curved flowlines seen in the faces of actual people. This research may lead to more realistic and expressive artificial faces.
The field of robotics has progressed greatly over the past decades. However, while current robots can appear very human at first, their energetic facial expressions may still be unnatural and a little disturbing to us. It was difficult to pinpoint the exact causes of this effect. Now, a research team at Osaka University has used motion capture technology to monitor the facial expressions of five Android faces and compare the results to actual human facial expressions. This was achieved with six infrared cameras that monitored reflection signs at 120 fps and allowed movements to be represented as 3D offset vectors.
“It can be difficult to design advanced synthetic systems because the many components have complex interactions with one another,” says Hisashi Ishihara, first study author, that the appearance of the Android face can undergo superficial distortions that are difficult to control. These distortions could be due to interactions between components Such as the soft skin plate and the skull-shaped structure, in addition to mechanical triggers.
The first difference the team found between the Android males and the adult males was in their flow lines, particularly the eye and forehead regions. These lines tended to be nearly straight for androids but were curved for the adult human male. The other major difference was with the ripple patterns of the skin surface at the top of the face.
Senior author Minoru Asada says: “Redesigning the Android face to resemble the pattern of skin flow similar to that of humans may reduce the discomfort caused by robots and improve their emotional communication performance.” “Future work may help give android faces the same level of expression as humans. Each robot may have its own” personality “that helps people feel more comfortable.”
The article, “A Comparison of Androids and Human Face Flow Lines,” was published in Frontiers in Robotics and Artificial Intelligence In DOI: https: /
About Osaka University
Osaka University was established in 1931 as one of the Seven Imperial Universities of Japan and is now one of the leading comprehensive universities in Japan with a wide range of majors. This strength is coupled with a unique drive for innovation that spans the scientific process, from basic research to the creation of applied technology with positive economic impacts. Its commitment to innovation has been recognized in Japan and around the world, being named the most innovative university in Japan in 2015 (Reuters 2015 Top 100) and one of the world’s most innovative institutions in 2017 (Innovative Universities and Nature Index Innovation 2017). Now, Osaka University is leveraging its role as a designated national university institution selected by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology to contribute to innovation for human well-being, sustainable development of society, and social transformation.
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