If you’ve been to one of those theme-park “audioanimatronic” presentations, you know that robots can be made to do quite spectacular and life-like things. Now an Italian team is showing what may be the most realistic recreation of human expressions yet.

 The robotic face is known, oddly enough, as FACE (Facial Automaton for Conveying Emotions). It uses 32 motors to control its various facial parts. Much more efficient, actually, than a real face, which can use more than 100 muscles to express certain moods.

Here’s FACE in action:

Why bother to create an artificial face?  One use is for research. When we think about how artificial limbs are becoming more and more like the human originals,researchers may be able one day to create new faces for accident or birth defect victims.