Asimo has a love of music, conducting the Detroit Symphony Orchestra

Asimo has a love of music, conducting the Detroit Symphony Orchestra

Honda’s Asimo robot has developed a love of music. Since April, it has worked with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. He conducted the orchestra and Yo-Yo Ma, the renowned cellist performing the “Impossible Dream”. Taken from the 1965 Broadway musical, Man of La Mancha, it also reprise’s Honda’s of Dreams theme.

This isn’t a skill that Asimo has just been able to pick up. Honda’s press release (Honda‚Äôs ASIMO Robot to Conduct the Detroit Symphony Orchestra) shows that this was planned since at least April. The Telegraph‘s report on this (Robot ‘conducts’ orchestra for the first time) also indicates that ‘conducting’ might be a bit of a misnomer.

It appears that despite being able to walk on to the stage and talk to the audience, and wave to the orchestra, his conducting is mimicry. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so Charles Burke, the DSO’s education director is very flattered. He provided the forms that Asimo mimics.

During rehersals, however, the orchestra lost their place when Asimo slowed the tempo. A human conductor would have been able to sense this and bring the orchestra together again. Conducting isn’t just waving your arms in the air, it is also listening to the music, understanding the mood of the audience and orchestra, and adapting to the situation, creating a unique performance every time.

Asimo has taken some first steps, let’s see what the future holds. We can but dream!

John Dixon

John Dixon is the Principal Consultant of thirteen-ten nanometre networks Ltd, based in Wiltshire, United Kingdom. He has a wide range of experience, (including, but not limited to) operating, designing and optimizing systems and networks for customers from global to domestic in scale. He has worked with many international brands to implement both data centres and wide-area networks across a range of industries. He is currently supporting a major SD-WAN vendor on the implementation of an environment supporting a major global fast-food chain.

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