Android Head Projects

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What's New
1. David Hanson has produced another head - of Albert Einstein. This head was recently attached to the Hubo humanoid being built at KAIST in Korea. You can see a video of Einstein here.   The "Albert Hubo" has high quality video cameras embedded in the eyes, which allow it to face-track and perform biometric ID. It is also set up for speech interaction and for ongoing AI development.      

       Image ownership questioned   12/15/14


2. There is now a project to build a Philip K. Dick android. This project also involves David Hanson who will be doing the head for the android.  Of course Philip K. Dick was the famous sci-fi writer who wrote the book "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" (among others) which was turned into the cult film called "Blade Runner" starring Harrison Ford (1982).  BTW, androids DO NOT dream of electric sheep. This head won the 2005 AAAI first place prize for Open Interaction, and appeared opposite to Marvin Minski in AI Magazine, summer 2005. Video of this can be seen here on Youtube and photos are here. The personality for this robot was built in collaboration with Andrew Olney, a PhD student at the University of Memphis.


3. David Hanson has now built another head called Alice and it has 24 actuators. He now has his own company called Hanson Robotics.   Here is a Youtube of Alice.  


 David also sent me some video clips which you will really enjoy.  

Video1 (393KB   Video2 (679KB)   Video3 (1051KB)

4. George York is the founder and CEO of Yoha Technology Ltd. They build animatronic animals and insects. And now they are building an animatronic man called Master Lee. They have a 3MB movie of the head talking with facial expressions. George says he can move his hands and arms.  Next they will try to make him walk.  They also have built an 8 foot tall animatronic Giganopithecus for the San Diego Museum of Man.   It looks very real!     

  JEFF.JPG (40693 bytes)   master_lee.jpg (113952 bytes)             

5. Here is another head project which YFX Studios has done for the University of California at San Diego (UCSD). It looks really great too. This head has 9 DOF.  The project is being directed by Jochen Triesch.  They are using the firefly digital cameras from Point Grey Research in Vancouver, BC. for eyes.      yfxHead2_big.jpg (41908 bytes) 6. NASA now has an EAP (Electro-Active Polymer) head project. This is a project funded by JPL in Pasadena, CA.  The head was sculpted by and animated by David Hanson.       nasa_head.jpg (133168 bytes)   Lulabot
7.  David Ng of Vancouver, BC, Canada has a really nice animatronic head kit for sale now.   

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David's animatronic head.      This head has 16 servos which operate many different facial actions.     

See all the details (including videos) here.

8. The Tokyo University of Science has a another face robot project called Saya.  This robot is being built at the Kobayashi Laboratory . This one is supposed to look like a nurse.  Here is a Youtube video of her. SAYA_1.jpg (27731 bytes)  
9. Carnegie Mellon University has developed a "talking head" called Doc Beardsley. The head itself is animatronic and moves and changes expresion during its conversations.  It is backed up by an AI program which generates conversation. This project has been sponsored by the Interactive Animatronic Initiative.   They now have added skin to Doc Beardsley.  There are movies on this site too

 beardsley3.jpg (8229 bytes)  beardsley2.jpg (7189 bytes)

10. Intelligent Earth, a company located in Kirkcaldy, Scotland, has built a robotic head which they call Doki. It incorporates two cameras, two motion sensors, one chemical sensor, one speaker and is awaiting the addition of two microphone 'ears'. Here is a news article from the BBC.    The head will sell for 3000 - 5000 depending on the options selected.            Doki
11. The C-Lab at the University of Paderborn (Germany) has built a head for simulating emotions. Its called "Mexi" for Machine with emotionally extended intelligence. Here is an article in English and here is one in German (search for "Roboterkopf mexi" and click on the link).  

            Image ownership questioned   

The picture on the right shows Dr. Heinrich von Pierer of Siemens (who is funding the project) with German Chancellor Schroeder and Prof. Schulz (left to right).

12. Cynthia Breazeal at MIT (Cambridge, Mass) has built a robotic head too. It appears that she has done it herself which is great accomplishment. Her project which is called Kismet is about 3 years old.  It is also part of the COG project.  

     Kismet1.jpg (19359 bytes)     

     Kismet  -  19KB

13. Prof. Takanishi Atsuo of the Dept of Science and Technology of Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan has a project called the Humanoid Cranium Project . The head is capable of several different expressions.

     Cranium.jpg (13872 bytes)  

    Humanoid Cranium

14.  Hossein Mobahi from the Azad University, Tehran-South Campus, Tehran, Iran has developed an animatronic face. The face is comprised of eight degrees of freedom. Its controllable features are eyes, eyebrows, jaw and neck.  Aryan's brain enables it to autonomously detect human face or hands and to track them. Aryan can express its emotion in his face, according to its perceived visual stimulation. The brain software runs on a standard PC with a 200MHz Intel Pentium Processor and under Linux OS.  

15. USC has a head project called MAVeric. Here is another link.      maveric_USC_head.jpg (11427 bytes)      Maveric 16. MIT has another face project called the Humanoid Face Project. Its head has FOUR eyes.    

  mit_face.jpg (42713 bytes)   

It definitely has the ALIEN look.   

17. Mark Medonis sent me an email about an animatronic head he is working on. His robot is called Maxwell. It does speech synthesis and lip sync at the same time. Wow! Mark has a company called Medonis Engineering. He is now offering Maxwell as an animatronic kit. See his site for details. He also offers electronic components for robot builders - in fact I just bought one!   Mark sent me some new pix today.

      max97.jpg (37202 bytes)              medonis4.jpg (57762 bytes)

18. Patrick M. Rael has built an animatronic head as the first step of his android project. His android is called Robot Maxamilian or R.Max for short. He also has web pages which tell how you can duplicate his feat for about $600. His eyes pan and tilt and have video cameras inside them. 

      rmax2.jpg (17771 bytes)     

        R.Max's head

19. Chris Hillman has been working on a head for his android. It appears that his android will be a large male. He has many other projects underway too.      hillmanhead.jpg (10636 bytes)     20.  Jason Van Anden of Brooklyn, NY has developed a Smile Project. His project is called Neil.   Neil can express various emotions such as happiness or sadness. Jason has several video clips on his site which you will enjoy.  



21. Matthew Walker and Peter S. Longyear from the UK have built an android head using among other things, a set of animatronic eyes from Android World.  His site is here.    

  inkhas1.jpg (41275 bytes)        Inkhas2.jpg (32752 bytes)        

    Matthew Walker and Peter S. Longyear's head project.   

22. Paul Hopkins of Boneyard Bargains in Ontario, Canada is building an android head.  He is using a set of android eyes from Android World too.   Boneyard Bargains offers all kinds of horror props, models, and animatronics.

     Boneyard_Head.jpg (114613 bytes)  

23. It seems that UCLA started an android head project last fall. Prof. J.Best was looking for people to help. They are going to build a head with video cameras for eyes, a mouth which can open and close, and with face muscles. 24. The Robot Group of Austin Texas has a head project which they call the Babbling Head.  The robot group is a group of artists and engineers who enjoy robots. It was constructed by Brooks Coleman, Alex Iles, and Bill Craig. Brooks who also does metal forging tailored the metal nose and half  head piece for Babbling Head while Laurie Davis forged the eyes. The eyeballs are hammered silver with LED lights illuminating the iris centers. The eyeballs are also servo controlled and capable of rolling. The neck and the lips are made of soft plastic for mobility. The lips are molded black silicon and the neck pipe piece is actually a dryer vent pipe. This robot is fitted with an exhibit controller board that operate a series of hobby servo motors that move the lips, eyeballs and neck areas. A sound synthesizer provides the computer voice simulated speech that bring the Babbling Robot Head to life. Alex Iles was very instrumental in developing and programming the exhibit controller for this piece. Bill Craig assisted with programming and the speech synthesis.        babbleface.gif (79471 bytes)    Babble face.
25. MIT has another head project which is called Macaco.  It is part of the Humanoid Robotics Group. Apparently it is being built by Artur Arsenio under the supervision of lab director, Rodney Brooks.        


       MIT's  Macaco.

26. Scott Barbiere has built a clever animatronic head which he calls the Grim Reaper. He is using a set of animatronic eyes from Android World (thanks for your support). Scott sent me a nice video of the Grim Reaper in action.   


27. CMU has a new head project called Joyce.   They plan to add video cameras to the eyes soon.  She was designed for the class 16-199 Spring 2004.   Joyce was built by Erika and James



28. We are also building an android head here at Android World Inc. We have sculpted Valerie's head out of oil-based clay and cast our molds in Ultracal30. The face will be made from foam latex and will have cables embedded in it so that face muscles can be operated from inside the head with RC-type servos.  We plan to offer components of the head or the full head as a kit for robotics laboratories to use as an AI teaching tool.        Below is the head with the eyes mounted in it.  It also has the teeth mounted in the jaws and the lower jaw hinged to the upper jaw.  We have the molds for the face and head completed.

     HD104.jpg (47610 bytes)    HD101.jpg (47886 bytes)      V_c.jpg (79325 bytes)     V_rt.jpg (123265 bytes)

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  • Teeth: set of 28 adult-sized teeth                         $100.

  • Ears: foam latex ears, a pair for                           $50.

  • Eyes: set of gimbal mounted animatronic eyes.     $750.

  •      1 set includes the following:

  •      2 color video cameras (PC-53-XP from supercircuits)

  •    12 V power supply to drive the cameras.

  •      5 servos to control the eyes and eye lids.

  •      9 V PS and battery pack to drive the servos.

  •      1 servo controller by Scott Edwards Electronics

  •      Software to drive the servos  

 Would you like to build your own animatronic head?   It s tough to get started because the hardest part has to be done first.  You need to sculpt a life-sized head and then make lots of molds - which are a big pain.  8 molds are required for the 4 items included in this package. We are now offering the skull in two parts (front and back) and the beautiful silicone face also in two parts for the low low price of $295.   Simply mount the head and add your animatronics to give you a quick and easy animatronic head project.  The skull parts are made of tough nearly unbreakable plastic.

Valerie's Head

                  skull_front.jpg (92107 bytes)        Face_front.jpg (96648 bytes)         skull_back.jpg (90196 bytes)

     The face shown above still has the flashing attached.  You simply trim off the excess as you wish.  The face is life-size (5" wide by 8" tall).  The whole head is 12" tall.   Rear skin section is not shown but is included in the kit.   Silicone face is easily washable with soap and water.  Use baby powder to reduce sticky feel.  Use Shin-etsu caulking compound to attach silicone.  Includes 2 pairs of silicone ears (2 small & 2 medium sized)

8 piece animatronic head kit  $295

Caucasian skin tone (below)


Asian skin tone (below)


African-American skin tone (below)


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