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Generation of humanoid robot's facial expressions for context-aware communication
journal contributionposted on 21.05.2015 by Gabriele Trovato, Massimiliano Zecca, Tatsuhiro Kishi, Nobutsuna Endo, Kenji Hashimoto, Atsuo Takanishi
Any type of content formally published in an academic journal, usually following a peer-review process.
Communication between humans and robots is a very important aspect in the field of Humanoid Robotics. For a natural interaction, robots capable of nonverbal communication must be developed. However, despite the most recent efforts, robots still can show only limited expression capabilities. The purpose of this work is to create a facial expression generator that can be applied to the 24 DoF head of the humanoid robot KOBIAN-R. In this manuscript, we present a system that based on relevant studies of human communication and facial anatomy can produce thousands of combinations of facial and neck movements. The wide range of expressions covers not only primary emotions, but also complex or blended ones, as well as communication acts that are not strictly categorized as emotions. Results showed that the recognition rate of expressions produced by this system is comparable to the rate of recognition of the most common facial expressions. Context-based recognition, which is especially important in case of more complex communication acts, was also evaluated. Results proved that produced robotic expressions can alter the meaning of a sentence in the same way as human expressions do. We conclude that our system can successfully improve the communication abilities of KOBIAN-R, making it capable of complex interaction in the future.
This study was conducted as part of the Research Institute for Science and Engineering, Waseda University, and as part of the humanoid project at the Humanoid Robotics Institute, Waseda University. It was also supported in part by RoboSoM project from the European FP7 program (Grant agreement No.: 248366), Global COE Program \Global Robot Academia" from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan, SolidWorks Japan K.K., NiKKi Fron Co., Chukoh Chemical Industries, and DYDEN Corporation, whom we thank for their financial and technical support.
- Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering