The Yume Project

http://www.etc.cmu.edu/projects/actroid/

 

 

This was my first semester project at the Entertainment Technology Center. Our client, Kokoro, is a Japanese company that specializes in animatronics. One of their greatest creations to date is the humanoid robot called the Actroid. We were tasked with finding ways to increase its believability (due to the Uncanny Valley effect), through story, puppeteering, animations, and costume design. We affectionately called our Actroid "Yume", which means "dream" in Japanese. 

 

As the only programmer on the team, I created a program in Maya (an industry standard 3D software) which allowed Maya animations to be exported and played on the Actroid. I also learnt how to rig a 3D model of the Actroid, complete with facial rig. This allowed experienced animators (using the principles of animation) to experiment with various types of animations, and export their animations onto Yume, thus bringing us one step closer to achieving believability.