WD-2 Face Morphing Robot Could Be Anyone

The Waseda-Docomo face robot 2 (or WD-2) uses a unique technology to alter its expression. The face portion is made of Septom, a highly elastic material.


(WD-2 robot face on a box)

Atsuo Takanishi and colleagues from Waseda University in Tokyo have been working on the WD series since 2003. WD-2 has 17 facial points, for a total of 56 degrees of freedom.


(Waseda Docomo face robot 2 video demonstration)

The shape of the mask is determined by shafts just behind each facial point; driven by a DC motor with a pulley and slide screw, the face changes. Using a 3D scanner-created image of a person's face, Waseda-Docomo face robot 2 can imitate anyone's face.

I'm pretty sure that there were face-morphing robots in science fiction - but I can't remember the reference. Readers are invited to contribute. However, I do recall the Bene Tleilax face dancers who have remarkable powers of mimicry, including altering the structure of their faces.

Update: A reader reminded me about the liquid metal robot from Terminator 2. End update. .

Via WD-2 will show its faces.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 9/18/2007)

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