Robot Heads Will Now Host Friends’ Faces [Video]

SociBot-Mini can change its face to add telepresence to voice calls.

Developed by Will Jackson and his team at Engineered Arts Limited in Penryn, United Kingdom, the SociBot Mini is a desk-top robot that uses projective head technology to change its face during conversations.

The 60-cm high robot uses a depth-sensing camera to capture and recognize a person’s gestures and facial expressions. With computer vision software, it can recognize a person and his or her moods, and even guess their age. It is also equipped with a chatbot software that allows it to hold simple conversations.

SociBot has a customizable molded plastic head with contours for eyes, mouth, and nose. An internal projector allows it to display a generic face or that of a friend’s during conversations.

Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 12.07.09 PM

The SociBot Mini is the smaller and more compact version of the SociBot, which was launched at the CeBIT IT fair in Germany back in 2012. The robot was designed for places like shopping centers, theme parks, and information kiosks, but the robot can also be used as a telepresence device that can change the way people engage in voice or conference calls.

The company plans to launch a Kickstarter campaign for the SociBot Mini so they can release a cheaper and slimmer version of the robot.

Check out the video on the project below.

Engineering Arts

[h/t] New Scientist

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