Disney Research fixes its gaze on a humanoid future

For some, this is the stuff of nightmares. For others, it’s one of the paths out of the ‘uncanny valley’, which is inhabited by humanlike figures that make use feel uneasy or uncomfortable by failing to be truly convincing.

This video describes the development of a system for lifelike gaze in human-robot interactions using a humanoid animatronic bust. We present a general architecture that seeks not only to create gaze interactions from a technological standpoint, but also through the lens of character animation where the fidelity and believability of motion is paramount; that is we seek to create an interaction which demonstrates the illusion of life.

Disney Research Hub note accompany this YouTube video

As with all these experiments, such as Boston Dynamics’ terrifying robot ‘dog’, Spot above, there’s a long way to go yet, but, once we’re able to return to a life we recognise as normal, how long will it be before we are interacting with these near-perfect human simulacra on a daily basis?