Robot choir singing Beethoven’s ‘Choral’ Symphony in harmony is both cute and terrifying

20 May 2021, 12:05 | Updated: 20 May 2021, 13:02

Robot choir sings Beethoven’s ‘Choral’ Symphony in harmony
Robot choir sings Beethoven’s ‘Choral’ Symphony in harmony. Picture: Mirai Capsule/SoftBank Robotics Corp

By Maddy Shaw Roberts

When a choir of dulcet droids launched their singing careers with a mechanical take on the ‘Ode to Joy’.

As the conductor raises their right arm, the massed choir takes a deep breath and begins to sing the profoundly uplifting choral finale to Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.

Except, this maestro is of the android persuasion. And the choir is made up of 14 melodious machines, all named ‘Pepper’.

The video, filmed in 2016, shows 14 robots singing alongside two humans to produce a surprisingly tuneful ‘Ode to Joy’.

Four robots sing soprano and four sing bass, while the six altos and tenors are each joined by a human to bolster those inner harmonies.

The choir is called the ‘Mirai Capsule’ – ‘mirai’ meaning ‘future’ in Japanese.

Read more: Hilarious moment Rowan Atkinson ‘forgets’ words to Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony

Symphony No.9(Ludwig van Beethoven)【pepper days】

The clip has been viewed several thousand times on Facebook and YouTube, and people are more than a little divided over the sound.

One Facebook user commented: “It sounds like when I go into the toy isle and push all the buttons on the talking toys.”

The robots are humanoid creations by the Tokyo-based SoftBank Mobile and Aldebaran Robotics (now SoftBank Robotics Corp) and they were designed with the ability to read emotions.

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

Perhaps for the choir’s next opus – the ‘Pie Jesu’ by Android Lloyd Webber? We’ll see ourselves out…