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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 March, 2004, 11:22 GMT
Robot trumpets Toyota's know-how
Toyota's president with the trumpet-playing robot
Toyota's president sees the robot as a symbol for the car maker
A trumpet-playing robot has been developed by Japanese car maker Toyota.

It showed off its musical creation at a Tokyo hotel, where the robot played When You Wish Upon a Star on a trumpet.

The machine is the latest in a series of robots developed by Japanese companies to showcase their prowess in humanoid robotics.

Sony and Honda have both used humanoid robots to as a platform to demonstrate their computing power and engineering know-how.

Robot wars

The Toyota robot stands 120 cm (48 inches) tall and does not yet have a cute name yet, unlike some of its rivals.

The company has provided few specific details about the technology used for the machine and did not reveal how much it spent developing the robot.

Toyota's trumpet-playing robot
The robot has yet to be given a cute name
For now, it has no plans to sell or rent it. Instead it hopes to form a robot band to play at the 2005 World Exposition, being held in Aichi in central Japan.

"I'm confident that this will be a symbol of Toyota Group's technology," said Toyota President Fujio Cho.

The robot development race is highly competitive in Japan, with the market for bots estimated to be worth around $4.5bn.

Companies often use the humanoid models to generate publicity and highlight a company's technical abilities.

Rival car maker Honda has a walking robot called Asimo which has visited the UK, Germany, the Czech Republic, France and Ireland as part of a world tour.

For its part, Sony has the all-singing and all-dancing Qrio, which can jog at a top speed of 14 metres per minute.

It seems to have musical bent, having recently appeared for a photo opportunity conducting the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra.

Whether it will be leading Toyota's robot musicians in the future is unknown.

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