It could be installed in cars as a safety feature within five years and is being aimed at a means of increasing safety, for example, alerting a driver when he is becoming tired.
The computer program is linked to a camera and tracks 24 facial points, such as eyebrows.
Another 20 key facial movements, like a shake of the head, have also been identified. Combinations of movements linked to moods are then fed into the computer.
Prof Peter Robinson said: ‘The system would have fantastic potential to improve driver safety and prevent accidents. It could feature in cars within five years.’