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Age of Avatars
Making Waves
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Revenge is Sweet
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Digital Hair Day

Features May 2007: Volume 4, Number 2



Albert Einstein may have written his last scientific theory more than half a century ago, but he’s still honing his emotional intelligence in a laboratory at UC San Diego.
Scientists at UCSD’s Calit2 have equipped a robot modeled after Einstein with specialized software that allows it to interact with humans. Designed by Hanson Robotics, the “Einstein Robot” recognizes a number of human facial expressions and responds accordingly.

Evoking realistic facial expressions in a machine made of wires and gears is no small feat. For Einstein to crack a smile, 17 of the robot’s 31 motors must whir into action and subtly adjust multiple points of articulation around his mouth and piercing brown eyes. The robot’s internal facial recognition software is based on

a series of computational algorithms derived from an analysis of more than one million facial images, and was developed by research scientist Javier Movellan and a team of graduate students at the Machine Perception Lab in Calit2. It allows Einstein to understand and respond to a number of “perceptual primitives,” such as expressions of sadness, anger, fear, happiness and confusion, as well as facial cues suggesting age and gender.

Contributors to Making Waves: Jesse Alm '11, Tiffany Fox, Raymond Hardie, Daniel Kane, Andrea Siedsma



Einstein Robot Gets Media Face Time
"Einstein lives. Our story about the Machine Perception Lab's Einstein Robot, which was modeled after the theoretical physicist, is turning up all over the Web." (source)