Dual-Armed Robot Conducts Italian Orchestra

September 19, 2017


This is a video of ABB Robotics' YuMi ('whose name is derived from the phrase "you and me"' for unobvious reasons) dual-arm robot conducting the Lucca Philharmonic Orchestra in Italy. Did it kill the previous conductor to get the job? I can only assume.

YuMi, the world's first truly collaborative dual-arm robot, has made its debut at the opera by conducting Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli and the Lucca Philharmonic Orchestra at the Teatro Verdi in Pisa, Italy, after being invited by Mr. Bocelli. Among the guests was ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer, under whose leadership YuMi was developed. The unique demonstration showed what can happen when advanced robotics meets the arts.

So like, what else can it do? "Pleasure two robot-loving perverts simultaneously?" Exactly what I was thinking. Man, Japan is going to go nuts over these things. If I wasn't so anti-robotics I'd invest in the company.

Keep going for the video, including several people talking excitedly about the thing.

Thanks to Charlotte, who agrees as soon as robots start conducting trains, it's time to fight back. Nobody messes with Thomas & Friends.

  • Sean Lally

    Perfect use!

  • AtomicMountain

    Y'ever notice that the executives and bean-counters of job-killing companies like ABB Robotics never say, "Hey, we could totally replace ourselves with Artificial Intelligence! I mean, all we really do around here is waste hours in meetings eating muffins, reading spreadsheets and making decisions based on them -- AI could do all that in seconds, and for a LOT less than we're bring paid! The company would save MILLIONS!"

  • Doog


    Let's design a robotics company that replaces CEO's at Fortune 500 companies. We could then either bring about a magnificent change in wealth distribution giving the old CEO wages to other employees, or keep all the money ourselves and get filthy, filthy, filthy rich.

    I know both which option I would choose, and which option would actually get chosen if this ever happened.

  • WhiteEagle2

    Is it intelligent? Or is it just a really expensive metronome?

    It was my understanding that a conductor was responsible for more than just moving his/her arms at a steady tempo. If a section is dragging or is too loud, he gives them cues to correct it.

  • Jenness

    Yes, you are correct. In order for this to work the robot would need to have a sophisticated ear for each section of each instrument and know if the 2nd string clarinets were too loud, tonguing staccato instead of tenuto or if the tymponi were off key - the conductor has an ear for every part and is tuned to keep the entire piece in line.

    No robot will ever be able to do that because they have no soul.

    *spits on the conductor robot and then grabs the nearest music stand and uses it as a weapon to bash the robot conductor into pieces while screaming in rage*

  • bakuryu

    "... the tymponi were off key"

    I think it's spelled timpani and maybe off tune is more correct (but my english is very bad).
    Talking about orchestras at highest levels,like the one shown in the video (I'm from Italy) for my experience the conductor role is to make musician play his own interpretation of the music and that is basically achieved with talking and pratical examples in closed door orchestra trainings, days before the execution(every single musician has to already have an incredible amount of knowlege and experience).The final concert is basically a showoff in which the conductor pretend to guide people that are almost completely autonomous. And that it's not a secret,it's like an appreciation for the global achievement that spectators applauds for. Most conductor are very mediocre/bad at conducting in the sense of moving hands commanding orchestra what to do (or, at least, very hard to understand). Some of them have even phisical disabilities of sort or nervous tic (not to mention mental state that stress causes being at those levels of exposition).Musician have to listen each other very carefully for pitch and rythm.In particular timpani-first trumpet- first violin are to listen for starting points, in which conductor also relay on those or, in worst cases, throw an erratic gesture and the instrument with the more defined starting sound (timpani or another percussion) lead the others that can suspend their emission for at least some istants (bows and,in lesser ways, winds),waiting the moment to play at full volume in synchron. Speed and variations are well established prior to the final ehxibition and more often then not conductor has to show that to musicians just one time: it's their job to remember exactly everything (including interpretation/style of playing) until rehersal or,maybe,for life.

  • TheQiwiMan

    First they came for the Auto Assembly-Line Workers, and I did not speak out-
    Because I was not an Auto Assembly-Line Worker.

    Then they came for the McDonalds workers, and I did not speak out-
    Because I was not a McDonalds worker.

    Then they came for the Rock Band Members, and I did not speak out-
    Because I was not a Rock Band Member.

    Then they came for the Classical Music Conductors, and I did not speak out-
    Because I was not a Classical Music Conductor.

    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

  • Jenness
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