stockholm-based technology startup furhat robotics gives AI a face with its face-swapping robot designed to adopt multiple personalities. furhat is a social robot built to communicate with humans like humans do – by speaking, listening, showing emotions and maintaining eye contact.

furhat, the face-swapping robot with multiple personalities

images courtesy of furhat

 

 

furhat achieves this human-like status by using a back-projected facial animation system. this includes a head-shaped display which features an opaque mask onto which pretty lifelike looking faces can be projected. this mask can be changed depending on its use, allowing the disembodied bust to take on various personalities. it also comes with a selection of pre-built expressions and gestures which can be further customized to fit any character.

furhat, the face-swapping robot with multiple personalities

 

 

human-like movement is mimicked using three degrees of freedom which allow the robot to direct attention to different objects and individuals. meanwhile, a wide-angle, high fidelity camera and beamforming stereo microphones allow furhat to interact with its audience. two hi-fi 2.5″ speakers allows virtual speech direction. according to the company, the device can record your own voice and have the device lip sync automatically, whilst its system supports a wide array of high quality text-to-speech voices in over 30 languages.

furhat, the face-swapping robot with multiple personalities

 
 

inside is an operating system that manages its interactions using a conversational engine based on an advanced computational model of hierarchical state machines. it gives it the ability to handle very expressive and low-latency interactions, simplifying and abstracting complex user behaviours when necessary. this way it knows when it’s being spoken to and when to listen to the conversation happening around it.

 

video by furhat robotics

 

 

furhat robotics says the device isn’t built with any particular purpose in mind although they note its ability to serve as an information point to help customers, provide companionship, train employees or even teach a language. you probably wont see furhat in your home any time soon but the company is working with names like disney, merck and honda to find roles for the bot in the workplace.

furhat, the face-swapping robot with multiple personalities

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