The Creepiest Robot Faces You’ve Ever Seen, Courtesy Of “Face Rubber”

By imitating natural expressions and even human cognition, David Hanson’s robots–made using a unique rubber substance that mimics human facial tissue–are making it easier to interact with robots by giving them a human face.

Robotics designer David Hanson builds intelligent robots with amazingly lifelike human faces that can make eye contact and understand human speech well enough to hold a conversation. A key to this technology is a facial material Hanson calls “Frubber”–a contraction of face and rubber. Developed using techniques inspired by nature, Frubber is a lightweight polymer plastic that contracts and folds just like human skin. Natural-looking faces on a robot, says Hanson, enable fast communication between man and machine. Hanson’s team is looking at biomimicry in order to emulate what it means to be human in a machine.