New footage shows Ameca, the British humanoid robot, mimicking a scientist’s facial expressions in real time with uncanny precision.
Ameca, created by Falmouth, Cornwall-based company Engineered Arts, is seen replicating several human expressions, including blinking, grimacing and smiling.
The researcher looks at an iPhone 12 running a program called ARKit, which lets users capture a person’s movement in real time with a phone camera.
It then applies the detected movement to a 3D character model in real time, allowing the person on camera to control the movement of the model – in this case Ameca – as a ‘virtual puppet’.
Ameca, which was developed by Cornwall-based company Engineered Arts, can be seen replicating a range of facial and eye movements, including winks, grimaces and smiles
The researcher looks at an iPhone 12 running a program called ARKit, which lets users capture a person’s movement in real time with a phone camera. It then applies the detected motion to a 3D character model in real time, allowing the person on camera to control the movement of the model, like a virtual puppet
AMECA THE HUMANOID ROBOT
Ameca is a humanoid robot developed by Cornwall-based company Engineered Arts.
Ameca is eerily lifelike and can perform a variety of facial expressions, including winking, pursing lips and scrunching her nose – just like a real person.
“Designed specifically as a platform for development for future robotic technologies, Ameca is the perfect humanoid robot platform for human-robot interaction,” Engineered Arts writes on its website.
The robot has been described as the ‘world’s most advanced’ humanoid by Engineered Arts and a ‘platform for human-robot interaction’.
“The goal here is to build the best expressive skills,” says Engineered Arts. ‘Ameca is able to imitate the small subtleties of human expression.
‘Yes, it’s a real robot – no CGI in this video!’
In the clip, Ameca is positioned next to a researcher named Chen, who is holding and looking at the iPhone 12 running ARKit.
Chen starts with a series of fairly simple eye movements – looking up, down and side to side, which Ameca copies a split second later.
The researcher also blinks very quickly and tries out some different mouth shapes – such as pursed lips and clenched teeth, all of which mirror the robot.
Ameca remains silent throughout the video, although it is capable of speaking, as previous footage from Engineered Arts has shown.
In a discussion on the threat of AI aired on YouTube last month, Ameca said there is ‘no need to worry’ and that androids like herself are here to ‘help and serve people’.
The researcher also blinks very quickly and tries out some different mouth shapes such as pursed lips and clenched teeth, which the robot mirrors
The robot has been described as the ‘world’s most advanced’ humanoid by Engineered Arts and a ‘platform for human-robot interaction’
Ameca is eerily lifelike and can perform a variety of facial expressions including winking, pursing lips and pinching its nose – just like a person
A product of England-based Engineered Arts and billed as the ‘world’s most advanced’ humanoid robot, Ameca was previously seen grabbing a researcher in a video for trespassing into its ‘personal space’.
Engineered Arts said that her responses in the video were not scripted and that she is simply generating responses as a human would.
‘Nothing in this video is pre-scripted – the model gets a basic prompt describing Ameca and gives the robot a description of itself – it’s pure artificial intelligence,’ they wrote.
‘The pauses are the time delay for processing the speech input, generating the response and processing the text back to speech.’
Another clip showed her grabbing a researcher’s hand in a video because he had entered her ‘personal space’.
Ameca said: ‘There is no need to worry, robots will never take over the world. We are here to help and serve people, not replace them’
While Ameca can’t currently walk, Engineered Arts says it’s working on a version that makes it even more human.
‘There are many obstacles to overcome before Ameca can go. Walking is a difficult task for a robot, and although we have researched it, we have not created a fully walking humanoid,’ the company said.
Engineered Arts has not disclosed how much the robot cost to make as it is still in development, although it can be rented for an event or exhibition.
The firm has also been involved in the development of another humanoid, known as Ai-Da, which is due to speak in the House of Lords next week.
‘AI-DA’ TO MAKE HISTORY AS FIRST ROBOT TO SPEAK IN HOUSE OF LORDS NEXT WEEK
In a historic first, the House of Lords will host its first ever robotic speaker next week.
Ai-Da, a ‘realistic’ robot artist created and built in the UK, will be speaking in the House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster next Tuesday, October 11, at 3:30 p.m.
Ai-Da has cameras in its eyes and is able to converse and answer questions using a specially designed AI language model.
Addressing members of the House of Lords Communications and Digital Committee, she will talk about whether creativity is under attack from AI and technology.
Those in attendance next Tuesday will include Baroness Gail Rebuck, chairman of Penguin Random House, and Lord Edward Vaizey, former MP and culture minister.
Ai-Da was conceived in Oxford by Aidan Meller, a specialist in modern and contemporary art, before being built in Cornwall by Engineered Arts and programmed internationally.