SEER: Simulative Emotional Expression Robot

The Simulative Emotional Expression Robot, or SEER, had been on display at SIGGRAPH in Vancouver, and attendees got the opportunity to interact with probably the most expressive robot. The robot, a creation of Takayuki Todo, is a little humanoid neck and head that will react to the closest individual through eye contact and imitating their particular expression.

Eyes are the windows to the soul. You are able to look into someone’s eyes and discover things about their character. Whether or not they are shy or confident, happy or sad, and perhaps if they are being honest or not. As far as robotics and computer animation are concerned, the eyes are an exceptionally complex aspect due to the fact that they are so extremely expressive. This is what it makes it so difficult to make them appear believable, however the SEER may possibly have cracked problem.

The robot can imitate facial expressions in unbelievable detail, and the effect might be a glance into the future of personal robotics. Currently the robot alternates between two modes: imitative and eye contact. Both depend on a nearby digital camera that will recognize and track the characteristics of your face. The robot’s motions seem unbelievably natural, and even tiny changes in the tilt of a subject’s head or the widening of their eyes are perfectly replicated in real time.

It is astounding just how much empathy you may all of a sudden feel for this tiny machine. That is mostly a result of the delicate, childlike, neutral sculpting of the face and highly realistic eyes. The eyebrows can form relatively complicated shapes, allowing the face expressions which you can immediately identify.

It is only a matter of time before we get androids that will be as expressive and emotive as the SEER.