This may be the scariest thing to see this Halloween, and it comes from Disney of all places.
Disney Research has developed a humanoid animatronic robot that mimics the gaze of humans. The robot features human eyes and teeth, but the rest of the body is skinless, presenting one scary looking individual no one would want to come across.
The goal of the robot is to develop a system that perceives a person in the environment, identifies persons-of-interest based on salient actions, selects an appropriate gaze behavior and executes that gaze based on fidelity motions that respond to stimuli.
The result is terrifying.
Researchers developed a general architecture that mimics breathing, blinking and other facial movements to create lifelike behaviors. The robot can also mimic human behaviors such as reading, glancing or engaging in human conversation.
While the project is designed to demonstrate the illusion of life, hopefully in the future, projects will be developed with less frightening machines.
The full research on the robot can be found at Disney Research.