Robo-Maestro Takes Baton

Honda robot manages to wow Detroit audience despite limitations
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 14, 2008 3:27 PM CDT
Honda's ASIMO robot conducts the Detroit Symphony Orchestra as it performs "Impossible Dream" during a concert in Detroit, Tuesday, May 13, 2008.   (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
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(Newser) – It was classical music, but when the Detroit Symphony Orchestra hit its final note last night, it sounded an awful lot like the future. Honda’s Asimo robot led a real, live, human orchestra, and though the android was only repeating the recorded movements of a human, the performance went beautifully, impressing the musicians and delighting the crowd, the Guardian reports.

“I'm worried that they'll teach it to multitask,” said Yo-Yo Ma, the evening’s star soloist. Asimo can already do more than conduct. The robot strode confidently onto the stage yesterday, waved to the crowd and said, “Hello, everyone!” Asimo can walk, run and recognize faces. Honda hopes models like him will someday work as companions for the elderly or crossing guards for kids.