Disney Realistic Interactive Robot Gaze
Anyone who has visited a Disney theme park has definitely come across at least one of their animatronics, but get up close, and you’ll notice that something about them seems quite off. These new robots with a lifelike gaze may change that, while also giving you nightmares in their unskinned state. The team focused on the character animation where the fidelity and believability of motion is paramount, thus creating an interaction which demonstrates the illusion of life. Read more for a video and additional information.

A complete system would be able to perceive persons in the environment, identifying persons-of-interest based on salient actions, selects an appropriate gaze behavior, and then execute high, fidelity motions to respond to the stimuli. Special mechanisms are used that mimic motor and attention behaviors analogous to those observed in biological systems including attention habituation, saccades, and differences in motion bandwidth for actuators.

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Additionally, a subsumption architecture allows layering of simple motor movements to create increasingly complex behaviors which are able to interactively and realistically react to salient stimuli in the environment through subsuming lower levels of behavior. The result of this system is an interactive human-robot experience capable of human-like gaze behaviors,” said the researchers.