Application of the FACS in the design and construction of a mechatronic head with realistic appearance

David Loza, Samuel Marcos Pablos, Eduardo Zalama Casanova, Jaime Gómez García-Bermejo, José Luis González


The growing demand for service robots requires a better and more natural human-machine interaction. Given that an important part of human communication is non-verbal, it is necessary to endow robots with gestural communication capabilities similar to humans. This paper describes the design and construction of a realistic, mechatronic head with high gesture capacity. The proposed design is based on the human anatomy and the facial expressions are defined through the Facial Action Coding System (FACS). The paper shows the implementation details of the mechatronic head and the way a set of servomotors can generate the basic action units of FACS as well as the basic and more complex emotional gestures.


Human machine interaction; Facial Action Coding System (FACS)


Jr. Kleck R. E. Adams, R. B. Perceived gaze direction and the processing of facial displays of emotion. Psychological Science, 14(6):644–647, 2003.

Jr. Kleck R. E. Adams, R. B. Effects of direct and averted gaze on the perception of faciall y communicated emotion. Motivation and Emotion, 5(1):3–11, 2005.

C. Bartneck. An Embodied Emotional Character for the Ambient Intelligent Home. PhD thesis, Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, 1982.

Kanda T. Ishiguro H. y Hagita N. Bartneck, C. Is the uncanny valley an uncanny cliff? Proceedings of the 16th IEEE, pages 368–373, 2007.

Cynthia Breazeal. Sociable Machines: Expressive Social Exchange Between Humans and Robots. PhD thesis, MIT, 2000.

F. DiSalvo, C. y Gemperle. From seduction to fulfillment: the use of anthropomorphic form in design. 2003 international Conference on Designing Pleasurable Products and interfaces, pages 67–72, 2003.

J. Donath. The child behind the character. Cognitive Technology: Instruments of Mind, 2001.

Saugis G. Chaillou C. Degrande S. Viaud M.L. Dumas, C. A 3-d interface for cooperative work. en proceedings of collaborative virtual environments. Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, 1998.

P. Ekman and W. Friesen. Facial Action Coding System: A Technique for the Measurement of Facial Movement. Consulting Psychologists Press, 1978.

M. Fabri. Looking at you or looking elsewhere: The influence of head orientation on the signal value of emotional facial expressions. Motivation and Emotion, 31(2):137–144, 2007.

Adams R. B. Jr. Kleck R. E. Hess, U. Looking at you or looking elsewhere: The influence of head orientation on the signal value of emotional facial expressions. Motivation and Emotion, 31(2):137–144, 2007.

Karsten Berns Jochen Hirth, Norbert Schmitz. Emotional architecture for the humanoid robot head roman. Robotics and Automation,IEEE, 53:2150 – 2155, 2007.

Yuko Nukariya Massimiliano Zecca Hideaki Takanobu Stefano Roccella Maria Chiara Carrozza Paolo Dario Atsuo Takanishi1 Kazuko Itoh, Hiroyasu Miwa. Mechanisms and functions for a humanoid robot to express human-like emotions. In IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, 2006.

T. Koda, T. y Ishida. Cross-cultural study of avatar expression interpretations. International Symposium on Applications on internet, pages 130–136, 2006.

Paiva A. Machado I. The child behind the character. Socially Intelligent Agents- The Human in the Loop, 2000.

Tsugutake Sadoyama Toru Sugahara Minoru Hashimot, Chisaki Yokogawa. Development of a face robot imitating human muscle structures. Journal of Robotics and Mechatronics, 19:324–330, 2007.

Masahiro Mori. The Buddha in the Robot. Charles E. Tuttle Co., 1982.

K. L. Norwak. The influence of anthropomorphism and agency on social judgement in virtual environments. Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, 9, 2004.

K. L. Nowak and C. Rauh. The influence of the avatar on online perceptions of anthropomorphism, androgyny, credibility, homophily, and attraction. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 11(8), 2005.

K. L. Nowak and C. Rauh. Choose your ”buddy icon” carefully: The influence of avatar androgyny, anthropomorphism and credibility in online interactions. Computers in Human Behaviour, 24(4):1473–1493, 2008.

Nass C. Reeves, B. The Media Equation, How People Treat Computers, Television and New Media Like Real People and Places. Cambridge University Press, 1996.

Miguel Praca Jos Santos-Victor Alexandre Bernardino Giorgio Metta Francesco Becchi Roque Saltarn Ricardo Beira, Manuel Lopes. Design of the robot-cub (icub) head. IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, 51:94–100, 2006.

Jaime Gomez Garca-Bermejo-Jaime Pulido Salvador Dominguez, Eduardo Zalama. Robot learning in a social robot. From Animals to Animats 9, 4095:601–702, 2006. ISBN 978-3-540-38608-7.

Jaime Gomez-Garcia-Bermejo Samuel Marcos and Eduardo Zalama. A realistic, virtual head for human-computer interaction. Interacting with Computers, 22:176–192, 2010.

Reid Simmons Selma Sabanovic, Marek P. Michalowski. Robots in the wild: Observing human-robot social interaction outside the lab. 9th International Workshop on Advanced Motion Control (AMC 2006), pages 596–601, 2006.

Fumio Kaneiro Kensuke Harada Mitsuharu Morisawa Shinichiro Nakaoka Kanako Miura Kiyoshi Fujiwara Ee Sian Neo Isao Hara Kazuhito Yokoi Hirohisa Hirukawa Shuuji Kajita, Kenji Kaneko. Cybernetic human hrp-4c: A humanoid robot with human-like proportions.

Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics, 70:301–314, 2011.

Hiroshi Kobayashi Takuya Hashimoto, Sachio Hiramatsu. Development of face robot for emotional communicaion between human and robot. IEEE Intelligent Systems, 54:25–30, 2006.

D. Thalmann. The role of virtual humans in virtual environment. Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, 1998.

E.R. Tufte. Visual Design of the User Interface. IBM Corporation, Armonk, N.Y., 1989.

Brand M. Pfister H. Popovi c J . Vlasic, D. Face transfer with multilinear models. ACM Trans., Graph. 24(3):426–433, 2005.

Deng Z. y Hiscock M. Yun, C. Can local avatars satisfy a global audience? a case study of high-fidelity 3d facial avatar animation in subject identification and emotion perception by us and international groups. Computers in Ententairment, 7:1–26, 2009.