Last year we reported on robots that can play a trumpet. A 48-inch tall robot played "When you wish upon a star" with a trumpet swaying naturally to the rhythm of the famous song from the Disney cartoon film Pinocchio.
It even bowed to the audience and waved its arms to respond to applause following the brief performance. And the robot "QRIO" conducted the Tokyo Phiharmonic Orchestra performing part of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony.
Now there's more of them and they're getting better!
The World Robot Expo is going on right now in Japan. The exhibition is displaying prototypes of robots that play musical instruments. Robotics proponents believe that growth in the robotics industry will grow rapidly in the coming decade. And they hope that soon robots will become common. The market for robots is estimated to reach $14 billion by 2010 and $37 billion by 2025.
Not only can they play music but do many other things. One acted like a videophone, mimicking the movements of the sender and displaying a picture of them on its face. Another robot drew pictures of the visitors at the convention. Another was hitting hit a rubber ball with a plastic baseball bat and another could put together a comedy routine. The robot "Repliee Q1" is covered with a substance similar to skin, simulates breathing and moves its mouth like it is talking.
Beware Musicians - i Robots are here!