Table 1 Robot face categories, their implications, examples and features

From: Robotic Faciality: The Philosophy, Science and Art of Robot Faces

Robot face Appearance Implications Examples McCloud’s distinctions
Realistic face Naturalistic, identifiable android face Creates a confusion between the living and non-living. Robot rights? Tend to evaluate virtue in human terms. Blade Runner replicants; Synths in Humans; Sophia; Harmony; Geminoids; Bina48 Realistic
Symbolic face Geometrically arranged features move across a smooth surface Animation expresses basic emotions and affects. Plays down resemblance or reference. References abstraction in art Kismet; Mexi; MiRAE Iconic and Abstract
Blank face Minimalistic or hidden facial features Lack of facial features on a moving head and body allows the interactant to read identity and emotion into the absent visage. Robot and Frank; Asimo Iconic
Mask face Immobile face with distinctive facial features Face has recognisable features but lacks mechanical animation Nao; Pepper; C3PO Iconic and Abstract
Tech face Comprised of electrical and mechanical components Face of electroechanical components fetishises technology itself. Low modality distances robot from human values of virtue. Robby the Robot; Nam June Paik’s Robot K-456. Willow Garage PR2; Iconic and Abstract
Screen face Appears as an animation on a screen Face appears on a computer screen, invoking the history and conventions of cinematic and digital animation Stelarc’s Prosthetic head; FutureRobot’s FURO Realistic/Iconic
No face Robot body has no distinct head or face Body becomes facial. Ambiguous identity. R2D2, Tug (hospital porter) Abstract