Big Yellow Tutu

Honda ASIMO conductor May 29, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — helenium @ 1:08 pm
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It wasn’t until last year that I realised there was a skill in conducting; either I was very naive or very lucky in having only experienced great conductors. It was a musicianship workshop last year that changed my mind – an entire afternoon dedicated to conducting skills, as each nervous stick waver walked up it dawned on me that this is actually a craft. I’d only ever seen conductors who were easy to follow and who could add a bit of style to the music; to suddenly see someone in front of us who couldn’t give a clear beat or any pazzaz to a piece was unnerving. It was amazing to see just how quickly a piece of music can fall apart when you’ve an inexperienced conductor.

In steps Honda for the solution to all our problems:

OK, so it’s wooden as hell and I’m not entirely sure that the orchestra isn’t just ignoring the robot, but the idea is cute. Our conductor wiggles and grinds a lot more than this though, so I need to put in a request to Honda for a robot with more dance moves. And crazy hair, all conductors must have weird hair.

I’d like to know if it’s radio controlled or pre-programmed. Radio controlled would make more sense for conducting, I guess.

I’d love to see 100 orchestras playing the same piece, each with a pre-programmed robot conducting, so they’re all playing the same thing at exactly the same time.


The robot is programmed from a real conductor doing the piece, using movement trackers. That’s a bit disappointing. It’d be amazing if the robot could read any score and conduct from that, not just repeating human movements.


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