In the noble pursuit to inject verisimilitude into the virtual, photorealistic videogames have gone at length to perfect face-capturing technology. Now, Disney researches have taken the captured data out of the database and onto silicon, around a head, then onto a robotic body. Science, Space & Robots has more.
The Zürich researchers have invented a computational method for automatically designing synthetic skin to match real individuals. The process starts by scanning 3D facial expressions from a human subject. Then, a novel optimization scheme determines the shape of the synthetic skin as well as control parameters for the robotic head that provide the best match to the human subject.
Dr. Bernd Bickel, researcher at Disney Research, Zurich, says, "With our method, we can simply create a robotic clone of a real person. The custom digitally designed skin can be fabricated using injection molding and modern rapid prototyping technology. We 3D print a mold and use elastic silicon with properties similar to human skin as base material."
Read the research paper here. Also, terrifying.