Robot Choir Brings Classical Music to Life

By Reuters
June 22,2016
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A video, recorded in April, shows 14 robots and two humans singing Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 while another robot conducts them.

The robots, all named 'Pepper' are humanoid creations by SoftBank Mobile and Aldebaran Robotics, designed with the ability to read emotions.

Tomomi Ota and Kansuke Nishida are the two humans taking part in the choir.

Ota studied music and communications and was intrigued by the negative reaction that the Pepper robot produced when it became available in 2015.

She told Reuters that she lived with her "Pepper" robot for a year and half before deciding to form a choir of robots and humans with her friend and fellow musician Kansuke Nishida.

Her aim was to render Pepper less frightening to those around her but Ota's neighbours aren't the only ones who dislike the ultra-modern musicians.

The choir has been criticised by fans of classical music who say the machines ruin a masterpiece.

Each robot is controlled through a computer that is programmed to identify different singing parts.

Ota told Reuters four robots sing soprano, three robots and one human sing alto, three robots sing tenor alongside the other human and the other four robots sing bass.

The choir is called the "Mirai Capsule", mirai means 'future' in Japanese.