Led by Atsuo Takanishi, researchers at Waseda University in Tokyo have developed a shape-shifting robotic face. Video after the break.
This is accomplished by manipulating 17 specific facial areas on a mask. Each of these points has three degrees of freedom, giving it a total of 56 degrees of freedom. A shaft moves behind the mask at the desired facial area, which is driven by a DC motor with a pulley and a slide screw. The mask is a very elastic and rigid material called Septom, with bits of steel wool added in to give it strength