FloBi is a cute and nicely designed social robot head from University of Bielefeld in Germany (presented this week at ICRA 2010). It is specifically designed for HRI and is anthropomorphic but has a cartoon-like baby face to get around the uncanny valley. Which I think they definitely achieved.
One of the most interesting aspects is the modular design. As seen in the video linked above, the shells are easily changed out to create different looks, changing from male to female for example. Another unique characteristic is the facial features. They had the goal of having “no holes” in the face, which lead to a magnetic actuation design for the facial features (lips,brows). This was fun to see working, since its an idea we have been playing around with independently.
Looking forward to seeing more about what comes from the FloBi project!
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