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Honda android to conduct symphony orchestra

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Detroit Symphony Orchestra conductor Thomas Wilkins could be getting worried, because the US classical music ensemble has orchestrated plans to replace him - temporarily at least - with a Honda robot.

Next month, the car manufacturer’s Asimo - which stands for Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility, apparently - will conduct the DSO for a special performance, which also includes a performance by the famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

The event’s designed to show off Asimo's “unique capabilities” - according to Honda - for keeping the orchestra in time and… er… waving a white stick. The robot's repertoire isn't yet known.

ASIMO_orchestra

Asimo is to conduct an orchestra, if the batteries hold out

But if the orchestra finds the droid isn't up to the task, they have a quick go themselves, courtesy of a promotional Wii videogame that lets users conduct an orchestra with the console’s Remote.

If the orchestra needs a hand getting home after the performance then Honda could also lend each member one of the new walking machines it has just invented. Hopefully, Asimo won’t need one too - unless its batteries match the duration of the average Bruckner symphony.

The performance takes place on 13 May in the US and more information about it is available here.

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