Disney’s face cloning creates more realistic (less creepy) animatronic robots (w/videos)

from GEEK.com

Aug. 17, 2012 (7:30 am) By: 

Creating realistic, humanoid robots seems to be one thing the technology world hasn’t conquered successfully yet. Humanoid robots always seem to look frightening — right in the deepest depths of the uncanny vally — but at Disney animatronics are key for many of their attractions and rides. Disney Research has come up with a system that accurately recreates the face of any human and their facial expressions and put them onto an animatronic bot.

Disney calls the process “face cloning” and they accomplish just it by first making a 3D scan of the face. During the scan the subject performs a variety of facial expressions while the computer usesmotion capture technology to capture every detail of the expressions made, right down to where the wrinkles appear and how the skin moves. The result is a digital mesh of the face that Disney can use to create a design of a realistic robot head that will replicate each of the expressions the subject made during motion capture. , , , Read Complete Report

from youtube

Physical Face Cloning

Published on Aug 10, 2012 by 

We propose a complete process for designing, simulating, and fabricating synthetic skin for an animatronics character that mimics the face of a given subject and its expressions. The process starts with measuring the elastic properties of a material used to manufacture synthetic soft tissue. Given these measurements we use physics-based simulation to predict the behavior of a face when it is driven by the underlying robotic actuation. Next, we capture 3D facial expressions for a given target subject. As the key component of our process, we present a novel optimization scheme that determines the shape of the synthetic skin as well as the actuation parameters that provide the best match to the target expressions. We demonstrate this computational skin design by physically cloning a real human face onto an animatronics figure. . . . Posted with video at youtube

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