Canadian Packaging

YuMi robot a smash hit conducting orchestra

ABB’s YuMi robot to conducts Lucca Philharmonic Orchestra in front of a sold-out audience in Pisa, Italy.


September 13, 2017
by Canadian Packaging staff

ABB’s YuMi humanoid robot conducted Italy’s Lucca Philharmonic Orchestra on the evening of September 12, 2017, alongside Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli and opera soloist Maria Luigia Borsi at the Teatro Verdi in Pisa, Italy.

As part of the First International Festival of Robotics, the YuMi robot twirled its baton in perfect coordination to lead Bocelli and the orchestra through Giuseppe Verdi’s aria La Donna è Mobile from Rigoletto, and then Maria Luigia Borsi through O mio babbino caro from Giacomo Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi (see image above). The ABB robot also conducted a passage from Pietro Mascagni’s intermezzo from the opera Cavalleria Rusticana.

YuMi was trained by director/conductor Andrea Colombi who wrote on the ABB website: “The robot’s performance was developed in two steps. First, my movements were captured with a process called ‘lead-through programming,’ where the robot’s two arms are guided to follow my motions with great attention to detail; these movements are then recorded.

“The second step involved fine-tuning the movements in ABB’s RobotStudio software, where we made sure the motions were synchronized to the music. Of course this took some technical expertise from ABB, but the lead-through programming let me focus on naturally doing what I do best, bringing the music to life. It is amazing to me that this could be accomplished so smoothly,” he states.

Below is a YouTube video posted by ABB showing YuMi practicing for the event: