The robot’s performance was developed in two stages. Firstly, Colombini’s movements were captured in rehearsal through a process called “lead-through programming”, where YuMi’s arms were guided to follow the motions. Then the movements were fine-tuned and synchronized with the music.
“I think tonight we’re truly making history and writing the future of robotics applications,” said ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer after the performance. “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.”
YuMi isn’t designed to replace orchestral conductors, of course. The machine is a proof of concept, demonstrating what’s possible with ABB’s software. However, Colombini and his orchestra have said YuMi could play a great role during rehearsals, when the conductor is absent.
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