What the robot with the most realistic face can do

(ORDO NEWS) — A month later, on September 30, 2022, Tesla will introduce the Optimus humanoid robot as part of the Tesla AI Day 2 event. It is expected that it will be able to lift loads weighing up to 20 kilograms and think using the Dojo computer.

But the robot from Elon Musk has one drawback – it does not have a human face, and in science fiction films we are often shown mechanisms that are as similar as possible to people.

Tesla probably equipped its robot with a screen instead of a face because the unnatural facial expressions of such mechanisms cause people to feel fear.

However, robots with the most realistic facial expressions exist – the best of them is Ameca from the British company Engineered Arts. Let’s find out what skills he has?

The most humanoid robot in the world

The humanoid robot Ameca was presented during the CES 2022 exhibition, which was held in Las Vegas earlier this year. He was immediately called the most human-like robot – basically, this is due to the most realistic facial expressions.

At the time of the presentation, 17 small motors were installed on Ameka’s face, with the help of which she was able to express joy, sadness and other basic human emotions.

In addition, the robot was able to gesticulate with its hands, recognize objects around it and communicate with others – for this, there was a microphone and a speaker on the chest of the mechanism.

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Robot Ameca was able to express basic human emotions, and now it is capable of more

Visitors to CES 2022 could ask the robot questions. Thanks to this, she herself said that she was created to conduct tests on the interaction between people and robots – communication for her is the main function. She also noted that, being just an electronic mechanism, she is not capable of feelings:

… but if I felt, I would say that I liked CES 2022 100%,” concluded Ameka.

A new version of the realistic robot Ameka

In general, at the beginning of 2022, the British company Engineered Arts managed to attract attention. According to IFL Science, engineers have recently developed the second generation of the Ameca robot – it has become even more realistic.

This was achieved by increasing the motors in the entire head: the face is equipped with 27 motors, and 5 motors are added to the neck. The same elements are also added to the jaws, eyeballs, eyelids, eyebrows and even the nose.

In addition, the robot can move its arms, wrists and fingers, but it cannot walk on its feet – people who are afraid of the uprising of machines can sleep peacefully for now.

Thanks to the increased number of facial motors, the Ameca robot is capable of more than just expressing basic joy and sadness. At the moment, he knows how to purse his lips, wrinkle his nose and wink.

According to Engineered Arts, sometimes you can say more with facial expressions than with words:

The human face is a very high bandwidth communication interface. We can say so much with just expressions that sometimes words are simply not needed.

It is known that the company is already working on a word recognition system so that the robot can fully communicate with people – this function is already built into Ameka.

However, it does not work well, because when communicating, a lot depends on intonation, voice volume and context, and the robotic mechanism is not yet able to recognize them.

The company creates copies of people

Engineered Arts needs to make money on something, so they are already selling and leasing the Ameca robot. It can be used in events, presentations or commercials.

Also, British craftsmen can create a robot for money that looks like a certain person. Blogger Tom Scott once used this service – you can see the result in the video below.

Robots Engineered Arts

British Engineered Arts has been around since 2005, and the Ameca robot is not the company’s only project.

One of the first products was the robot RoboThespian, which looked like a child and could sing songs, but was far from realistic. The company also produced the Mesmer robot, which was hyper-realistic but had very few features.

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Robot RoboThespian
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Mesmer robot

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