Robot YuMi celebrates conducting debut with Andrea Bocelli

The conductor's movements were captured with a process called lead-through programming where the robot’s two arms were guided to follow the motions.
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Robot YuMi celebrates conducting debut with Andrea Bocelli

Earlier this week, YuMi was a host conductor at the Teatro Verdi, in Pisa, Italy. ABB's dual-arm robot made took the stage with Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli and Lucca Philharmonic Orchestra in front of 800 guests, where they performed 'La Donna è Mobile,' the famous aria from Verdi’s 'Rigoletto.'

"It was so much fun to perform with YuMi,” Bocelli said after the concert for the gala of the First International Festival of Robotics. “It showed that a robot could really conduct an orchestra, but only with the excellent work of very talented engineers and a real maestro."

Meastro Andrea Colombini, director of the Lucca Philharmonic Orchestra, helped prepare YuMi for the event in two steps. In rehearsals Colombini’s movements were captured with a process called 'lead-through programming,' where the robot’s two arms were guided to follow the motions, followed by the second step, which involved fine-tuning the movements in ABB’s RobotStudio software, where the motions were synchronized to the music. The whole process took only two days.

"I think we’re truly making history and writing the future of robotics applications," said ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer, under whose leadership YuMi was developed. "YuMi demonstrated how intuitive, how self-learning this machine is – how wonderful our software really is in learning the movement of a conductor, sensing the music, and really conducting an entire team.”

Check out the video.

[Image: Andrea Bocelli, YuMi and ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer before the concert.]