A robotic version that can make eye contact, and track people passing by.

Among the variety of fascinating technologies exhibited at Siggraph 2010, a unique device stood out. Disney Research’s Animatronic Eye moves fluidly in a lifelike way, and makes eye contact just like a real human eye would. The animatronic eye has a transparent inner sphere and outer shell and uses electromagnets to move sideways or up and down with a camera placed at its back to help it see. Disney researchers say the technology behind the animatronic eye could be used to restore cosmetic appearance to those who have lost an eye, though it won’t restore sight.

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