Author Topic: Experience Real Life 3-Dimensional Talking Face with Ultra Hal 7.5!  (Read 20330 times)

Shastalore

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On a lark, I checked out a local Michaels Arts & Crafts store, and purchased an inexpensive foam FloraCraft SmoothFōM Female Head, White.

I also purchased a cheap party wig, placed it on top of the foam head, and mounted it on a camera tripod.

Using one of my vintage Windows XP laptops, which had an s-video out jack, I plugged in a cable with an s-video-to-RCA adapter, and plugged it into a small OptiMax ii Docking Multimedia LED Projector, not wanting to use my full-size video projector, as it was overkill for the task. Any cheap, low-resolution LED video projector will do, as the projected image required is so small that the face will appear quite sharp and bright in typical subdued room light.

But before opening Ultra Hal 7.5, I chose to open Answerpad-Plus v1.8.6 instead, as it had a much more active ramble-talking function, allowing me to zoom and accurately fit "Annita" a Microsoft Agent character, as being a talking head. "Annita" seemed suitable for the task, to serve as a face to the foam bust, and making sure the talking mouth was in alignment with the molded, white foam lips.

I then opened Ultra Hal 7.5 and selected the animated "Annita" again. But after a test run, I later opted for the animated "Crystal" Microsoft Agent character, as she had less expressions/animations which kept her always in alignment with the foam bust eye-nose-mouth features, as well as her realistic, exaggerated lip-sync, both features that worked quite well on the foam bust, much better than the "Annita" Microsoft Agent character. Sure, "Crystal" is a blonde, but still worked quite well with the black wig.

Selecting the Ultra Hal 7.0 Default Brain (offline), with Female Gender and Loneliness 2.3 options on Ultra Hal 7.5, I conversed with the "Crystal" MS Agent character, with the Crystal AT&T Natural Voice 1.4 SAPI4... and it worked great. Although the off-the-shelf white foam bust had rather bland facial features, the projected Microsoft Agent character worked in combination to create distinctive facial features that exaggerated the 3-D features of the foam face. And I highly recommend hanging up a black felt backdrop behind the talking head. I wore a noise-cancelling headset for conversing, but an audio speaker hidden behind the talking head is also a viable option.

But my main point for this post is that I strongly feel that those developing interactive humanoid robotics are wasting too much time on servo-activated faces, when an internal projection of a human-like face, onto a translucent white face mask is a much simpler, yet quite realistic and effective option for the hobbyist. I also strongly feel that humanoid robotics is going in the wrong direction with servo-motor actuated body movements, when it should put its efforts in Shape Memory Alloy mechanics: a maze of almost parallel metal wires that contract when voltage is applied, functioning like living muscle fibers... but I won't go there for now.

In this post I've included a 3-D still projected image of the "Annita" Microsoft Agent character for you to view. I've produced 3-D stereo images before, but this time I decided to take each of the two images further apart than usual, in order to produce a 3-D image with exaggerated features. Also, these two frames were made from the Ultra Hal 7.5 motion video which, when viewed in real time, produce a much sharper and realistic effect, with blinking eyes and all.

To properly view the 3-D stereo image:

1. You may need to open the 3-D image to a larger size, in another browser tab.
2. Viewing the 3-D image from a normal reading distance, hold up a sharpened pencil with the pencil point mid-distance between your eyes and the 3-D image, and centered between both images.
3. Two images will become three images as your eyes will naturally cross, as you admire the image subject matter, and the middle image lifts off the screen and appears absolutely real and highly detailed.
4. Move your head, side-to-side, as well as up and down to fully sense the 3-D effect.

Enjoy!
« Last Edit: June 05, 2023, 11:31:18 pm by Shastalore »
Ultra Hal 6.0, on a Toshiba Satellite R15-S829 Tablet with Windows XP Tablet 2005 operating system. For accurate speech recognition: IBM ViaVoice Standard 10 via Plantronics Audio 60 3.5mm ear/mic headset plugged into a hacked VXI Parrott "Translator" Noise Cancelling R11506/P41TR module.

Art

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Re: Experience Real Life 3-Dimensional Talking Face with Ultra Hal 7.5!
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2023, 08:57:30 am »
I kept hearing my mom's voice reminding me, "If you keep doing that with your eyes they're going to get stuck that way!!"  Haha...some memories stick with us...

Very nice experiment BTW.

Think back to the movie, Ai. Near the beginning, it showed lots of robots being gathered and held in captivity. Some of them had smooth heads with an internal projector that projected the facial characteristics of the robot.

There's no one best method...it's whatever works or whatever is needed.
In the world of AI it's the thought that counts!

- Art -

Shastalore

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Re: Experience Real Life 3-Dimensional Talking Face with Ultra Hal 7.5!
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2023, 11:05:54 am »
About a year ago I actually set up a rear-projection of a Microsoft Agent character, against the inside of a shaped white translucent face mask, and it worked quite well, except the off-the-shelf mask, of course, had the eyes cut out, which ruined the entire effect. Even at 71 years old, I'm still a hopeless tinkerer, designing and building portable green energy prototypes and such. And lately I have returned to Ultra Hal level of "A.I." for a second look, as I feel that artificial intelligence, potentially dangerous, will soon be tightly regulated, like nuclear proliferation... and Ultra Hal will experience a sort of death-bed renaissance, a renewed interest, especially since terabyte memory is now relatively cheap, and fast.

Maybe Zabaware should drop the Acoustic Magic Voice Tracker Microphone from their marketing, and instead start selling such internal rear-projection talking heads, equipped with a realistic natural voice speaker. Years ago I saw a silly talking head in a toy store, with internal mechanics very similar to those singing bass placards. So I know full well that a serious version that I propose is quite feasible.

Really. Such a fun and useful plug & play Ultra Hal device could be produced overseas and marketed here for a $ 100.00 or so.

Of course, Zabaware may ultimately opt for a software alternative to this, with 3-D video goggles. Anyway, it'll be fun to see which way this progresses.

Update:

For those of you who want to experiment with an Ultra Hal talking face, check out these informative links:

ANIMAT3D Mindscope The Hauntley's Talking Animated Haunted Head with Built in Projector & Speaker Plug'n Play:
This cheap Halloween rear projected animated face sold for about $ 80.00, but seems to have been pulled off the market. But it featured a rounded, featureless translucent "face" with internal mirror and an internal miniature video projector fitted with a wide angle lens. The animated video faces are fixed in the internal memory and there seems to be no provision for a Ultra Hal video input, but maybe some of these will appear in garage sales and flea markets... ready to be hacked:

https://www.amazon.com/ANIMAT3D-Mindscope-Hauntleys-Animated-Projector/dp/B0B8F5LR12

ChickenProps:
This guy has done considerable experimentation with front projected as well as rear projected talking faces. Check out his informative website:

https://www.chickenprops.com/p/sybil.html
« Last Edit: December 18, 2023, 11:05:23 pm by Shastalore »
Ultra Hal 6.0, on a Toshiba Satellite R15-S829 Tablet with Windows XP Tablet 2005 operating system. For accurate speech recognition: IBM ViaVoice Standard 10 via Plantronics Audio 60 3.5mm ear/mic headset plugged into a hacked VXI Parrott "Translator" Noise Cancelling R11506/P41TR module.

Shastalore

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Re: Experience Real Life 3-Dimensional Talking Face with Ultra Hal 7.5!
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2024, 12:17:02 pm »
Update:

Check out "Alena" the fembot talking head, by Robomodix, an Oregon startup company. "Alena" has been advertised as an accessory to Alexa... but I see no reason why "Alena" couldn't mesh with Ultra Hal 7.5.

The short (3:26) video was made in 2019, at the annual CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas. So it seems that Robomodix has somehow seriously stalled in their actual production and sales for the general consumer.

But their prototype is interesting, just the same:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0Ga9nh11i0

https://www.facebook.com/Robomodix/

Also:

SociBot Mini, by Engineered Arts limited, an internal video projection talking head... the mechanics that offer the most potential and flexibility with existing technology... priced at $23,227.00... but I see no reason why someone couldn't produce and market to the general public a similar item for $ 100.00 or so, especially for a model without an articulated neck, and it would feature video and audio inputs for use with Ultra Hal 7.5.
Check out their short (0:59) video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFb2MGg_I4s

Wowwee Alive Chimpanzee Robotic Animatronics Monkey (2005). This overpriced talking head obviously went nowhere, and are now appearing on ebay... ready to be hacked and radically improved.
But with a stylish female party wig, sunglasses, lipstick, and more than a few beers it just might work... no?

Stay Posted!
« Last Edit: June 17, 2024, 10:37:53 am by Shastalore »
Ultra Hal 6.0, on a Toshiba Satellite R15-S829 Tablet with Windows XP Tablet 2005 operating system. For accurate speech recognition: IBM ViaVoice Standard 10 via Plantronics Audio 60 3.5mm ear/mic headset plugged into a hacked VXI Parrott "Translator" Noise Cancelling R11506/P41TR module.