Life-streaming cameras aren't new, but seldom do they have eyelids. Keio University's TEROOS prototype does, however; the shoulder-mounted webcam is in fact a telecommunication avatar, controlled by a remote viewer with not only six axis of movement to play with but a set of eyes that can show different expressions.
Video demo after the cut
The idea, the Japanese researchers suggest, is that you can now take a friend shopping with you, even if they're thousands of miles away. A directional speaker funnels their comments into your ear, and a microphone means they can hear you too. Skype is used for the audio and video streaming, while the robot's movements are managed by a smartphone over a Bluetooth link.
Right now the whole thing looks a little cumbersome, and we're not sure we'd want to go on a mammoth shopping binge with a heavy 'bot on our shoulder. Still, with video calling finally gaining traction, perhaps there's room for a smartphone app with on-screen eyes.