Robot as orchestra conductor on stage in South Korea

18. 07. 2023 | Kristýna Bezděková

A two-armed robot, designed by the Korea Institute of Industrial Technology, made its debut at the National Theater of Korea, where it led the musicians of the national orchestra. The humanoid-faced robot first bowed to the audience and began waving its arms to control the tempo of the live performance, CNN reports.

An android robot, EveR 6, took over the conductor’s desk and directed the South Korean National Orchestra’s performance, the first such attempt in the country.

“The movements of the conductor are very detailed,” said Choi Soo-yeoul, who led Friday’s performance along with the robot. “The robot was able to perform such detailed movements much better than I imagined.”

But Choi said a “critical weakness” of the EveR 6 system is that it can’t listen. Lee Young-ju, a listener who studies traditional Korean music, said the robot’s movements, while impeccable at keeping rhythm, lack “breath” – or the ability to keep the orchestra ready to engage collectively and immediately – which he said is essential in performance.

The humanoid robot conducted three of the five pieces performed Friday night, including one he conducted with Choi. “It was a recital that showed that (robots and humans) can coexist and complement each other instead of one replacing the other,” Choi said after the concert.

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Author of this article

Kristýna Bezděková

Kristýna is a student of marketing and communication in an undergraduate program. She writes and translates content into the Czech language


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