Robots are invading the symphony hall, said Kevin Ryan at Inc. YuMi, a two-armed robot built by Swiss robotics company ABB, recently conducted a performance of the Lucca Philharmonic Orchestra in Pisa, Italy. The 84-pound bot learns tasks by recording and mimicking them, "without any coding" required. It has wrists, elbows, and shoulders, giving its movements fluidity similar to a human being's. Italian conductor Andrea Colombini taught YuMi the songs for the performance, including "La Donna è Mobile" from Verdi's Rigoletto.
Unlike its human counterpart, however, the robot can't respond to how the orchestra is playing, so "a cellist who misses a note won't get a stern look." As a result, Colombini isn't too worried about his job security just yet. "The robot uses its arms," he said. "But the soul, the spirit, always come from a human."