modestly also stated, "It is very
satisfying, although we obviously
have a long way to go yet. It may
be possible to build an android that
is indistinguishable from a human,
at least during a brief encounter."
Figure 9 shows another of
Ishiguro's creations: the Geminoid F
— a very good human likeness.
Dr. David Hanson is another
person who has mastered the art of
accurately replicating human
likenesses. Hanson is shown in Figure
10 with an accurate likeness of Albert
Einstein mounted on a Hubo body.
The Hubo robot was developed
at the Korea Advanced Institute of
Science and Technology (KAIST) in
the mid 2000s, and is a very
advanced robot. Even though I find
this application of his skill in
reproducing human likenesses a bit
creepy, his work is nonetheless world
As founder and chief scientist of
Hanson Robotics, David has made
some very impressive robotic
likenesses of many people. Figure 11
shows the Hubo Einstein being
introduced to President George Bush.
As Hanson states, "Manufactured
for real uses, our robots currently
serve health, safety, and education,
and scientific research at universities
around the world. Although we have
a ways to go before we achieve true
genius machines, we've made real
Scientists from the University of
Pisa have developed a robot called
FACE (Facial Automation for
Conveying Emotions) shown in Figure
12. The female humanoid face can
accurately emulate six basic emotional
states: happiness, sadness, disgust,
amazement, indifference, and fear.
It can also recreate expressions in
between these emotions, such as
happiness with a hint of amazement.
(She still looks a bit frightened in her
neutral state, in my opinion.)
Figure 13 is a good
representation of the depth of the
Uncanny Valley or just how wrong a
human likeness can go. The “girl”
seems to be terrified and not very
She has all the external parts
and areas of a human face, but
subtle differences can add up to
make a humanoid face very
unnatural. This lack of innate human
qualities is even more apparent when
actuators or servos are used to
produce facial expressions.
We humans have many small
facial muscles to move parts of our
skin to express numerous feelings
and emotions. It is hard to find
actuators small enough to place in
the many areas of artificial skin to
reproduce all the common human
expressions, though Hanson and
Ishiguro have mastered that art
better than anybody.
SERVO 03.2014 77
Figure 14. Evolutionary path
of Honda's Asimo.
Figure 13. The depth of the
Uncanny Valley curve.
Figure 11. President George Bush