Making robots look and act like humans is an ongoing work. The facial expressions implemented in the French media center robot REETI are meant to change the way people perceive and interact with entertainment robots.
REETI was first presented at a French robotics exhibition called InnoRobo, held in Lyon, between the 23rd and the 25th of March, 2011. It introduces itself as a PCBot, which apparently means a combination between a Media Center PC and a robot. The designers programmed it to speak and to move in certain ways, by using an application called RShow. This piece of software includes a text-to-speech converter, so any text that is written there gets reproduced by REETI. More than that, RShow also includes a list of movements the robot can do. The speech can be easily synchronized with the movement. After programming the robot, the other applications included in RShow can be used. Such applications are Skype, an office suite, an agenda, a photo viewer and many others.
As demonstrated in the above video, REETI is able to smile, frown and make funny faces. Two cameras that move independently one from another take the place of the eyes. The LEDs behind the cheeks light up red if the robot is annoyed and blue if he feels the temperature is a bit low. The head and the ears have articulations, so they can be moved in various directions. This certainly increases the fun factor of the robot. The skin of REETI is made from silicone, which makes the facial expressions look more genuine. Another feature that is worth mentioning is the ability of the robot to feel when it is touched. Children would surely fall in love with such a robot, considering how hilarious are the funny faces that it makes.
Via: Plastic Pals