Disney face cloning promises more realistic robotic characters

According to some scientists, the robotic and A.I.-driven apocalypse known as the Singularity will not be humanity's undoing. But such prognostications won't stop the researchers at Disney Research from trying hasten its arrival via more realistic robot faces.

The development, made by the Zurich branch of Disney Research, involves a new process called Physical Face Cloning, which is designed to give the animatronic characters at Disney's theme parks more realistic and expressive features. Capturing all angles of a real human head, as well as a wide array of facial expressions into a 3D program, the team has been able to improve the realism of fabricated synthetic skin on animatronic figures attempting to interact with humans.

Although the development is meant to enhance the experience of kids visiting their theme parks, this could also point the way towards more aesthetically pleasing humanoid robots designed for human service and interaction in the future. You can see the process and the end results of the Physical Face Cloning in the video below.

Disney Research, via Siggraph

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