Emotionally interactive robots with facial expressions have various applications, such as research, education, companion, entertainment, and so on. Apart from this, robots with facial expressions demonstrate unique therapeutic effects via eye contact, facial expression recognition and presentation, especially in the early intervention for autistic children. The present study focuses on the head design of a humanoid robot with facial expressions and demonstrates strong attraction of the emotional robotic head presented in the 20th China Hi-Tech Fair. Feedback of the general public's acceptance of the robotic head during the High-tech Fair, was combined with the special needs in treatment of autism, to optimize the design of a second generation of the robotic head. As a result, the mechanical structures of the key components of the head, including the shell of the head, the eyes, the neck, the tongue, achieved better performance, and fewer motors were used to generate more and reliable facial expressions. TPE material which is environmentally friendly and bio-compatible was used in making a more human-like skin covering the robotic head. The facial expressions of the big six basic emotions presented by the robotic head has been tested by the Face++ software, and the recognition accuracy of some facial expressions exceeded 96%. The contributions of the present study are threefold, first of all, it shows that limited number of motors can generate reliable facial expressions of the basic emotions; second, TPE material is suitable for making human-like skin covering the robotic head; third, it shows the potential of our robotic head to be a practical and clinical rehabilitation platform of training autistic patients to recognize and imitate facial expressions of emotions.