While robots might be getting better at mimicking the actions of humans, one thing it lacks is in the eyes. While one could create artificial eyes for robots, they tend to look lifeless. This is rather important as the eyes can sometimes be expressive themselves, and you can sometimes tell what a person is feeling based on their eyes.
However, it seems that the research team over at Disney thinks that they are closer to creating more realistic-looking robots that come with a rather unnerving gaze. Developed by the researchers at Walt Disney Imagineering, and robotics researchers from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and the California Institute of Technology, they have put together a robot whose eyes are surprisingly realistic for something that isn’t real.
The robot’s eyes can make small movements and adjustments, something that we as humans do all the time, sometimes without even realizing it. For example, we roll ours eyes at lame jokes, or our eyes might dart around when we’re nervous or if we’re bored, or our eyes can move about when we’re trying to recall a memory, and so on.
By giving robots eyes that can mimic these subtle movements, it does bring us closer to creating more realistic-looking robots and animatronics, and with robots starting to appear in more films, perhaps one day we might see a movie with a robot actor headlining the movie that is so realistic-looking that one can be deceived.