This Chinese Company Has Developed Humanoids With Enhanced Facial Movement

Engineers are hard at work developing humanoid robots at the Ex-Robots facility in Dalian, China, a seaside city in the northeast. Their main goal is to improve the robots’ capacity to mimic human emotions and facial expressions.

Tables are covered in silicone limbs, feet, and masks that reach the neck; disembodied heads are on display, and humanoid robots in various states of development are positioned close by. Robot design drawings line a wall, serving as a source of inspiration and direction for the engineers.

“We have our own software and algorithm teams,” said Ex-Robots Chief Executive Li Boyang. He emphasized that humanoid robots are the most complex class of robotic products. “There are many basic models and algorithms that are commonly open source, which everyone uses. However, we concentrate more on how to enable the AI to recognize and express expressions and emotions.”

A humanoid robot mimics the gestures of an Ex-Robots employee by moving its head, smiling, and sticking out its tongue. This is made possible by tiny motors placed throughout the robot’s head. In addition, we are developing the basis model. The model is multimodal and can express emotions. It can recognize its surroundings and respond appropriately with a facial expression,” Li continued.

According to Ex-Robots, a humanoid robot can be created in two weeks to a month and costs between 1.5 million and 2 million yuan ($207,000). Thus far, the main objective of these robots has been exhibitions in museums; one such museum is located in the same building as the Ex-Robots’ factory.

Li thinks that humanoid robots will be more prevalent in the educational and healthcare fields in the future. Psychological counseling and health are certainly future application scenarios. We are currently conducting related research, such as auxiliary treatment and preliminary screening for emotional and psychological disorders,” he said.

“Moreover, emotional interaction has broader applications in service fields, such as those aimed at children.”

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