Asimo to lead Detroit symphony orchestra

Honda's Asimo robot will conduct a song before the orchestra as part of a new program benefiting music programs at Detroit schools.

After being named world champion of Crave's nonviolent robot tournament , most robots would probably have been content to rest on their laurels, put on a little weight, and settle into a sad, drug-addled existence only to wake up 10 years later and realize that they're out of money, and their fans have moved on. But Honda Motor's Asimo is not like most robots.

Honda Asimo conducting

After handily taking that title, Asimo has a new role now. He'll be conducting the Detroit Symphony Orchestra on May 13, leading the orchestra on just one song, "Impossible Dream" from Lost in La Mancha.

Famed cellist Yo-Yo Ma will also be performing that night, though not on that particular number. Both celebrity appearances are part of a program that will benefit music programs at Detroit schools. Honda has given more than $1 million to the symphony orchestra to create The Power of Dreams Music Education Fund, which will help fund master classes, an introductory class, and private lessons for Detroit students. (More details on the program are here.)

You may remember that a few months ago, Toyota unveiled a robot that can play the violin. Let's just hope that the two companies don't team up, or those music-loving robots are bound to figure out that they can get rid of us pesky humans altogether.

About the author

Jennifer Guevin is managing editor at CNET, overseeing the ever-helpful How To section, special packages, and front-page programming. As a writer, she gravitates toward science, quirky geek culture stories, robots, and food. In real life, she mostly just gravitates toward food.


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