May 15, 2008 at 6:15 AM
Japanese made robots are entering the field of live music performance. Toyota has created a robot which plays the violin, as I described in my blog entry of Dec. 9, 2007. Now Honda has made a robot named Asimo who conducted the Detroit Symphony in The Impossible Dream. Asimo “learned” how to conduct this music from Charles Burke, the Detroit Symphony’s education director, who videotaped himself conducting this piece several months ago. Humans used the tape to program Asimo to make the same movements as Burke.
When the performance was over, Asimo said, “It is absolutely thrilling to perform with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.”
The musicians generally enjoyed playing with the robot. Leonard Slatkin, Music Director of the Detroit Symphony, remarked, “Its battery runs out after 20 minutes, so he’s not going to get through a Beethoven symphony.”