Robot Makes History by Conducting an Orchestra in an Incredible Performance

Byvu lita

Mar 19, 2024

With AI and robotic technology improving at impressive rates, there are some who worry that there’s a risk of artistic and creative folks being replaced. A study by the Korean Institute of Industrial Technology, however, is showing exactly why that can’t and shouldn’t happen. It all started when the South Korean company posed this question: Can robots replace conductors?

Over a year ago, development for an automaton began. In the end, it was given two arms with joints to replicate wrists and elbows, allowing it to move a baton similarly to how a human conductor would move. Named the EverR 6 robot, and standing at 1.8 meter tall, it was finally time to figure out how it could follow through on its musical role.

An upward view of the EverR 6 robot with its hardware still showing.

“We got involved in this project to see how far robots can go in more creative fields like the arts, and what the challenges are,” Dong-wook Lee, a senior researcher at the Korean Institute of Industrial Technology said.

In order to pull this off, Dong-wook Lee collaborated wit the Busan Philharmonic Orchestra. The 12-minute piece they planned to perform, “Feel” by Il-hoon Son, was created especially for this event. It was created with the strengths of both EverR 6 and the human conductor, Soo-yeol Choi, in mind.

Front-facing view of the completed EverR 6 robot with its arms and hands in the position of a conductor. The robot has a face, arms, torso, and hands resembling a human's.

To pull off this impressive performance, the robot was preprogrammed to conduct through 30 cycles of beat patterns. Meanwhile, it was up to the human conductor to lead the orchestra in creating an improvisational score, adding depth to the otherwise planned piece.

Together, they pulled off a masterful performance that the audience seemed more than happy to have had the opportunity to witness firsthand!

View from the side of EverR 6 conducting a room full of musicians who are carefully watching the robot.

With the concert having gone so well, this is only the start of EveR 6. Still, no matter the improvements they’re able to make to this Android robot, the human conductor isn’t concerned about being replaced.

“Let’s leave the accuracy to the robots,” Soo-yeol Choi said. “But the musical and artistic aspects to a human conductor.”

Watch EveR 6 and Soo-yeol Choi’s performance in the video below.

@forbesmiddleeast An android robot, EveR 6, took the conductor’s podium in Seoul to lead a performance by South Korea’s national orchestra. The robot, with a humanoid face, first bowed to the audience and started waving its arms to control the tempo of the live show. #forbes #forbesmiddleeast #ai #robot #southkorea ♬ original sound – Forbes Middle East

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