Technion Israel Institute of Technology
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- The Robotic head project
(initiated on 2011 winter semester) is intended to explore the human
expressions & facial emotions controlled by the muscles it interacts with,
along with computerized environment, enabling the usage of Servo motors to
mimic muscles movements.
Technion's Robotic head Project - Perlins
- Hebrew translation stands for: Computer controlled
expressionable Robotic Head
The Robotic head project (initiated on 2011 winter semester) is intended to
explore the human expressions & facial emotions controlled by the muscles it
interacts with, along with computerized environment, enabling the usage of
Servo motors to mimic muscles movemets
The Robotic head project was:
Designed and performed by: UG student, Mr. Roee hershko,
supervised by Robotic's lab cheif engineer, Mr. Kobi Kohai
The project was successfully finished at March 2012.
The following describes the project:
- Imagine you can control a Robotic head using 25 Servo motors throughout
the head, which emotions can you conjure?
- The Head contains 25 Servo motors in the following
5. Mought & Jaw
all servo engines are controlled using PWM pulses.
- In order to control the Servo motors a microController (Microchip's
PIC18F6390) was used, providing the following tasks:
In order to convey an emotion - the microController receives ordes from PC, using an operational tool, which I wrote in C#,
sending data packets (in a correct form which is described later on), controlling a single \ multiple servo engines at a time
moving across 0 - 180 degrees (or -90 - +90 degrees, depends on your calibrations start-up point).
- Communications control (in & out of the entire system).
- PWM - Angles (degrees) conversion.
- Facial expressions Algorithms.
- Timing requirements (for PWM pulse creation).
- Start-up & periodically tests (check COM, Voltages, Sanity check,
Checksum on data packets).
Here's a little academic review of other similar projects
from universities around the globe:
FLOBI - beifield univ, Germany, featuring:
- 1. 18 DOF (degrees of freedom, AKA servo engines).
2. includes eye cameras
3.contains team of 6 Engineers, researchers, faculty
4. Bulit to avoid "uncanny valley".
ICUB - Lisbon univ, Portugal, featuring:
- 1. special children interactions design.
2. 6 DOF
3. in progress since 2006 (esimated price - several
WE-4RII - waseda univ, japan, featuring:
- 1. 22 facial DOF (contains more for entire body
2. contains eye cameras, with focus controll
3. contains multi-level expressions algorithms.
4. budget set to - several hundred K$.
5. developing as joint venture with ARTIS labs in Italy.
6. contains complex mechanics.
the following shows the vast amount of work invested in the hardware of project
- Featuring 25 DOF - 25 servo engines throughout the Head, enabling the
creation of a wide array of expressions.
- hardware was developed with the following specifications & insights:
- 1. Two seperate voltage regulators (one for current up to 0.5
A, for uController),(one for Servo engines, up to 7A).
- 2. External Crystal for uController accuracy (needed for PWM
- 3. Opto-couplars, to buffer between low power consumption (uController),
and high power consumption (Servo Engines).
- 4. conductors & wires gauge able to sustain high Current
- 5. Flash programmable 64 pin microProccessor, with 51 I\O
ports (which I turned into PWM outputs, using Software).
- Featuring a very low budget (overall cost), and a task force of 1
ambitious Student (Me).
- Firmware feature multiple modules ( Test module, Manager module,
Communications module, Expressions module, PWM module).
- C# interactive user friendly GUI tool, to speed up further follow-up
projects & very helpful for exhibitions .
- Facial skin is an elastic poly-Silicon , Servo engines replaceable,
Dimentions: 21.6 x 13.97 x 20.3 cm.
- Project was created with the Amazing help of Josh grey CEO of
Customent Solutions company.
- Self designed Data packet protocol between PC & microController (62
Bytes per packet, to control 25 servo engines)