Design and Control of a Humanoid Avatar Head with Realtime Face Animation

Designing a humanoid robot head and face, where we use audio processing to create real-time abstract face animations for the robot.


Human-robot interaction is composed of multiple aspects that together create a single experience. In this paper we present a humanoid head that is designed for human-robot interaction as a tele-operated robot meant to be controlled as a remote Avatar. A real-time audio signal processing algorithm is presented that uses an abstracted representation of speaking to provide users with a clear sense of presence during an interaction. We avoid using any video feeds of real human faces, nor creating artificial skins, which emphasizes the capabilities and intent of our robot to be a friendly and unique contribution to the emerging field of physical humanoid avatars.

Fig. 1

Photograph of the robot head with a screen used for facial animation.

Fig. 3

Overview of the teleoperation and visualization processing of audio and visual information.