Thursday, November 26, 2009

NEXI - The Robot Express Facial Emotions

    Robot is a virtual or mechanical artificial agent made by man kind. A mechanism  that can move  automatically. It is refer to both physical robot and virtual software agents. Robot is an  electric machine which has some ability to interact with physical objects and to be given electronic programming to do a specific task or to do a whole range of tasks or actions. It may also have some ability to perceive and absorb data on physical objects, or on its local physical environment, or to process data, or to respond to various stimuli. Robot doesn't show emotions  because they don't have heart like humans. But there is robot that can be able to express human emotions with facial expressions, called NEXI.

    NEXI is a robot displays facial emotions developed by MIT (Massachusett Institute of Technology) Lab's Personal Robots Group in collaboration with Prof. Rod Grupen at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and two MIT robotic spin-off companies. 

    The head and face of NEXI were designed by by Xitome Design with MIT. The expressive robotics started with a neck mechanism sporting 4 degrees of freedom (DoF) at the base, plus pan-tilt-yaw of the head itself. The mechanism has been constructed to time the movements so they mimic human speed. NEXI's face has been designed to use gaze, eyebrows, eyelids and an articulate mandible which helps in expressing a wide range of different emotions. NEXI has a color CCD in each eye as well as an indoor active 3-D infrared camera in its head and four microphones to support sound localization. It has laser rangefinder which supports real-time tracking of objects, people and voices as well as indoor navigation and has hands that can be used to manipulate objects.

    The chassis of NEXI  is also advanced which it is based on the uBot5 mobile manipulator developed by the Laboratory for Perceptual Robotics UMASS (University of Massachusett) Amherst. The mobile base can balance dynamically on two wheels; Nexi has what amounts to a Segway-like body. The arms can pick up ten pounds; the plastic covering of the chassis can detect human touch.

    This project was headed by Media Lab's Cynthia Breazeal, a well known robotics expert famous for earlier expressive robots such as KISMET. She is an Associate Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at the MIT. She named her new product as an MDS (mobile, dextrous, social) robot.

    This is the video posted on you tube the preliminary video demonstration of NEXI's facial expressions using pre-scripted movements.


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