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Robot Conductor Leads Beautiful Live Orchestra Performance

Robot Conductor Leads Beautiful Live Orchestra Performance

If Hollywood is to be believed, the robot apocalypse will come with a Rise of the Machines, like the one in the Terminator movies or in The Matrix. The reality is that robots aren’t quite adept yet at fully pushing humans off of the stage. However, the slow creep of technology has created new ways for robots to take over our day-to-day lives. Someday, there will be fully functional self-driving cars, and factories that don’t even need human supervision. But for now, the machines are taking on music with a robot conductor.

Via the Associated Press, a two-armed YuMi robot acted as a conductor on stage at Pisa’s Teatro Verdi alongside famed tenor, Andrea Bocelli. This event took place last week as part of the inaugural International Robotics Festival. The YuMi was designed as an assembly line robot by ABB, a Swiss robotics company. Cyberdyne, you’re off the hook–YuMi is the new face of the robot takeover, and it doesn’t even have a face.

As implied above, YuMi was re-purposed from its original function to lead orchestras, and Bocelli even praised the bot as a capable conductor. However, there is a major flaw that YuMi hasn’t overcome. As noted by the orchestra’s usual human conductor, Andrea Colombini, the YuMi “lacks sensitivity, most of all he lacks interaction. If the orchestra should make an error, YuMi doesn’t stop.” To do that, YuMi would have to be able to understand music well enough to recognize any subtle mistakes in the notes.

What do you think about YuMi the conducting robot? Compose your still human thoughts in the comment section below.

Images: ABB

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