CSUSB students demonstrate animatronic figure that recognizes faces

     

A group of computer science engineering students from Cal State San Bernardino on Tuesday, Dec. 4, demonstrated their work on a project to create an animatronic figure that detects, tracks and recognizes human faces.

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A student demonstrates a robotic figure in March 2012 during a demonstration at CSUSB. The project, called YeTi Vision with Garner Holt Productions, is to produce an animatronic figure that that can identify and track individuals moving. Photo: Robert A. Whitehead/CSUSB

The presentation, called Robotic Motion and Vision, which was held at the CSUSB Santos Manuel Student Union Events Center.

The demonstration was a project between students from the CSUSB School of Computer Science and Engineering and Garner Holt Productions, one of the premiere creators of animatronic figures whose clients include The Walt Disney Co., NASA, the Pacific Science Center and Universal Studios.

The project’s goal was to bring computer vision to a humanoid robot, a robotic system that integrates both software and hardware has been developed that enables a robot to detect, track and recognize human faces, said George Georgiou, the associate dean of the CSUSB College of Natural Sciences and a professor in the School of Computer Science and Engineering.

Garner Holt Productions, based in San Bernardino, began in 2006 to create an animatronic figure that would revolutionize entertainment robots. The company’s focus turned to the form of the mythical Yeti, and over the course of time, the robot was given 164 functions, twice the number found in Disney’s most sophisticated animatronic figure.

But perhaps the most startling part of the project was called Yeti Vision, a ground-breaking technology that will allow the Yeti to “see” and participate in its environment. Garner Holt officials came to CSUSB to work with computer science instructors and students to help develop the process of detection, recognition and reaction.

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A robotic figure developed by students during a demonstration at CSUSB in March 2012. The project, called YeTi Vision with Garner Holt Productions, is to produce an animatronic figure that that can identify and track individuals moving. Photo: Robert A. Whitehead/CSUSB

The students and their instructor, CSUSB Professor Haiyan Qiao, will be showing their work by covering state-of-the-art topics involved in the project, such as machine learning and computer vision.  In addition, the navigation of small robots equipped with whiskers, photo transistors and infrared headlights will be demonstrated.

The audience will have the opportunity to interact with the robots at the time of the demonstration.

The event is sponsored by the CSUSB School of Computer Science and Engineering, Garner Holt Productions, Inc., and IEEE CSUSB Student Chapter.

For more information on the animatronics project, contact Haiyan Qiao at (909) 537-5415 or by e-mail at hqiao@csusb.edu.

For more information on Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university’s Office of Public Affairs at (909) 537-5007 and visit news.csusb.edu.