Sunday, July 12, 2009

Freaky Robot Is A Real Einstein

Some of the facial expressions that the new Einstein robot has learned through a process of self-guided learning. Credit: UCSD

From Live Science:

Albert Einstein is practically alive and smiling in the guise of a new robot that looks eerily like the great scientist and generates facial expressions that take robotics to a new level.

"As far as we know, no other research group has used machine learning to teach a robot to make realistic facial expressions," said Tingfan Wu, a computer science graduate student from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD).

To teach this, the team connected tiny motors via strings to about 30 of the robot's facial muscles. Programmers then directed the Albert Einstein head to twist and turn its face in numerous directions, a process called "body babbling," which is similar to the random movements that infants use when learning to control their bodies and reach for objects.

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