Robot Learns to Smile
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 10, 2009 8:45 AM CDT

(Newser) – It's a milestone for robots: One has learned to smile and make realistic facial expressions on its own for the first time, Wired reports. University of California researchers put their Einstein robot in front of a video camera attached to facial recognition software, which gave it feedback as it randomly contorted its 31 artificial facial muscles. The experiment could shed light on how babies learn to make expressions.

"The robotic approach is the ultimate in helping us understand learning and development," one expert said. “There’s so much we can learn by actually trying to make it happen instead of just watching kids try to move their faces—it’s like having a baby as opposed to just watching a baby.” The team now plans to teach the robot to socialize.