Korea’s First Robotic Conductor to Lead National Orchestra Performance
On June 30, the National Orchestra of Korea will make history as a robot takes the conductor’s podium for the first time in Korea.
The robot, named EveR6 and created by the Korea Institute of Industrial Technology (KITECH), will conduct the orchestral series IV titled ‘The Absence’ at the Haeoreum Theater of the National Theater of Korea.
EveR6 is part of the renowned ‘EveR’ series of human-like android robots presented by KITECH since 2006.
While previous iterations performed on the stage, this groundbreaking performance features Ever6 accompanied by conductor Choi Soo-yeol, conducting both individually and together.
Although robot conductors have been featured overseas in the past, this marks the first such performance in Korea, following the likes of Asimo in Japan (2008), Yumi in Switzerland (2017), Alter 2 in Japan (2018), and Alter 3 in 2020.
During a media preview at the practice room of the National Orchestra of Korea, EveR6 showcased its capabilities by precisely conducting a fast-paced piece called “Horse thump” with the orchestra.
The robot’s movements are a result of implementing technologies like “motion capture,” which digitizes the trajectory and speed of a human conductor’s baton and applies it to the robot.
Yeo Mi-soon, acting artistic director of the National Orchestra of Korea, expressed her surprise at the sophistication of EveR6′s movements, defying the expectation of simplicity.
She prepared the performance with great care, emphasizing the significance of the interplay between technology and humans.
Dr. Lee Dong-wook of KITECH explained that EveR6 is a programmed performer, following a predetermined program and executing planned actions. As the project evolves, they aim to develop EveR6 as an auxiliary tool for conductors through data learning.
The upcoming performance not only showcases technological advancements but also invites contemplation on the unique creativity that humans possess.