So much for getting a good night's sleep tonight. Researchers at the Tokyo Metropolitan University have created this disturbing robot cat mask that's able to mimic the movements of the wearer's eyes and mouth using a non-contact interface to measure the movements of the muscles in their face.

The masks worn by people dressed as cartoon characters usually require a separate operator to have any kind of motion or movement. But this system allows the person wearing the costume to control their own facial expressions, without tying up their hands. The research of course has applications for amusement parks, finally giving some life and emotion to Mickey Mouse and other characters.

But the technology behind the mask that lets a user control something using only their face could also be applied to the physically disabled who are unable to use their limbs. Or even integrated into the helmets of motorcycle riders, letting them change the radio station with a simple smile or frown. And if trips to Chuck E. Cheese's weren't already frightening enough, imagine what it will be like when that giant mouse can wink and smirk at you. Can those skee-ball tickets be cashed in for psychiatrist appointments? [DigInfo]