20 March, 2024
Marcel Heisler


Learning to Control an Android Robot Head for Facial Animation

We are happy to share that our PhD student Marcel Heisler got his recent work on Automated Facial Animation of Android Robot Heads accepted at the 19th Annual ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI). The Late Breaking Report was presented in Boulder, Colorado USA, 11th-15th March 2024.


The ability to display rich facial expressions is crucial for human-like robotic heads. While manually defining such expressions is intricate, there already exist approaches to automatically learn them. In this work one such approach is applied to evaluate and control a robot head different from the one in the original study. To improve the mapping of facial expressions from human actors onto a robot head, it is proposed to use 3D landmarks and their pairwise distances as input to the learning algorithm instead of the previously used facial action units. Participants of an online survey preferred mappings from our proposed approach in most cases, though there are still further improvements required.

Authors: Marcel Heisler, Christian Becker-Asano

Link to paper: https://dl.acm.org/doi/10.1145/3610978.3640674