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'Photo real' robotics to keep toddlers and the elderly from freaking out


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We know what you're thinking: your Roomba 532 really does a number on the carpet, but where is the love? At this year's SIGGRAPH in Los Angeles, Taisuck Kwon (from the Kyushu Institute of Design) demonstrated his latest work in the realm of "photo real" robots: robots designed to reproduce the facial expressions that human beings take for granted. Unlike the robots that assemble consumer electronics or detonate IEDs, the photo real robots convey emotions, using articulated humanoid facial features designed to put people at ease, "especially seniors and toddlers." The robots have an underlying mechanical configuration that mimics the muscle structure of the human face, involving 26 moving units in total, with servomotors and actuators used to manipulate "muscles" beneath the "skin." Our only regret is that this technology wasn't available when Disney World last updated its Hall Of Presidents.

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