From Yahoo News:
TOKYO (AFP) - Japan\'s top carmaker Toyota unveiled a trumpet-playing robot -- its first humanoid machine -- in a bid to catch up with robot technology frontrunners such as Honda and Sony.
Toyota Motor Corp. (news - web sites) showed off its walking and rolling virtuoso robots to the media at a Tokyo hotel as it announced the outline of its robot development project.
The 120-centimeter (48-inch) tall robot played \"When you wish upon a star\" with a trumpet as a presenter held a microphone up to the instrument, swaying naturally to the rhythm of the famous song from the Disney cartoon film Pinocchio.
The robot, with what appeared to be an artificial green leaf stuck behind its left \'ear\', bowed to the audience and waved its arms to respond to applause following the brief performance.
The 35 kilogram (77 pound) as yet unnamed robot has artificial lips which can alter their position as subtly as human lips as air is forced through them, enabling it to play a trumpet as it presses the stops with its hands.
\"We are determined to drive forward the Toyota Partner Robot project by putting together what we have cultivated in automotive development and production,\" Toyota president Fujio Cho told the news conference.
\"I\'m confident that this will be a symbol of Toyota Group\'s technology,\" Cho said.
Toyota plans to form a \"robot band\" to play music at the 2005 World Exposition at the carmaker\'s base in Aichi, central Japan, the president said.
Among its partners in the project are Japanese computer giant NEC Corp. and micro-motor maker Yasukawa Electric Corp., a Toyota official said, adding the company has no concrete plans to commercialise the project.
Toyota started humanoid robot development two and a half years ago, Cho said without mentioning costs.
The robot development race is highly competitive in Japan, the world\'s leader in the technology.
In 2000, its rival Honda Motor Co. (news - web sites) Ltd. unveiled ASIMO, the world\'s first two-legged walking robot, and Sony Corp (NYSE:SNE - news) (news - web sites). revealed its QRIO, the world\'s first jogging robot, in December.
Earlier this week QRIO appeared for a photo opportunity conducting the Tokyo Phiharmonic Orchestra as it performed part of Beethoven\'s Fifth Symphony.
It was not immediately clear whether QRIO would be conducting Toyota\'s robot musicians in future as well.