This has to be the coolest piece of machinery I’ve seen all month. Straight out of a sci-fi movie: The WD-2 robot is a mechanized face that can morph its shape to fit nearly any facial structure (Video included). Paired with a facial projector, this robot can look like almost anyone.
Created by researchers at the Takanishi Lab (Tokyo University), WD-2 has 27 control points for movement (see illustration on their site). The face itself is made from a material called Septom, that contains added steel-wool for extra strength. Truly amazing to watch it transform.
Their idea is then to project a face onto the mask (second video) which they pull off excellently. It’s funny for me because that’s exactly how my concept design was for CADIA’s Superhumanoid: A virtual humanoid with a blank face, his actual expressions projected onto his face via an attached projector (follow the link to the lab to see an image). In any case, I give Takanishi Labs a hat tip, because they pulled that concept off really well.
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You can see some additional specifics about this project at the WD-2 page over at Takanishi Labs.