Out of the Way, We Now Have Robot Conducting Orchestra

Out of the Way, We Now Have Robot Conducting Orchestra”

YuMi the humanoid robot showed no signs of nerves on Tuesday night (September 12) as it raised its baton to conduct the Lucca Philharmonic orchestra alongside Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli.

On ABB's website, Colombini described how the company programmed the robot's performance.

In one of the most lovely theaters of Italian tradition, Maestro Bocelli sang as YuMi directed "La Donna è Mobile", the famous aria from Verdi's "Rigoletto".

YuMi appeared at the theatre to mark the opening of the First International Festival of Robotics in Pisa, Italy. The robot then went on to conduct soloist Maria Luigia Borsi in an aria from Gianni Schicchi by Puccini, followed by a passage from the opera Cavalleria Rusticana. When we found the way, everything was pretty easy", adding, "It is absolutely fantastic.

First, ABB captured his movements using a process called "lead-through programming".

In recent years, robots have been taking on a number of tasks previously considered impossible, and along the way proving us wrong about the extent of their capabilities.

While the performance was hailed as a success, ABB points out that robots are not expected to achieve and combine the skills required to match a human conductor.

Although the robot performed well Tuesday evening, using a robot conductor has some drawbacks. YuMi can't improvise. Any unexpected change in tempo would have thrown off the robot's programming.

"Of course, YuMi is good when it comes to technique... but the soul, the spirit, always come from a human".

The world's first truly collaborative dual-arm robot, made its conducting debut in front of almost 1000 guests.

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