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I-Fairy robot conducted a wedding ceremony in Tokyo

By Damir Beciri
20 May 2010

i-fairy-weddingHow do robots bring people closer? Well, if you are a robot researcher you might bump into partners from the same niche. A robot we already wrote about, I-Fairy, conducted a wedding ceremony which took place in Sunday, May 16, 2010 at Tokyo, Japan. According to Kokoro, the robotics firm that manufactured I-Fairy, this was the first time a wedding was led by a robot.

The groom was Tomohiro Shibata, a robotic researcher, and the bride was Satoko Inoue, who works at Kokoro. The wedding took place at a restaurant in Hibiya Park in central Tokyo, where the I-Fairy wore a wreath of flowers and directed a rooftop ceremony. Wires led out from beneath it to a black curtain a meter (3 feet) away, where a man inputted the commands into a computer.

“Please lift the bride’s veil,” the robot said in a high-pitched voice (which was still a bit deeper than one that spoke in English at CES 2010), waving its arms in the air as the newlyweds kissed in front of about 50 guests.

“This was a lot of fun. I think that Japanese have a strong sense that robots are our friends. Those in the robot industry mostly understand this, but people mainly want robots near them that serve some purpose,” said bride Satoko Inoue.

“It would be nice if the robot was a bit more clever, but she is very good at expressing herself,” said new husband Tomohiro Shibata, a professor of robotics at the Nara Institute of Science and Technology in central Japan.

Kokoro, which unveiled the robot earlier this year, designed the I-Fairy as a robot receptionist and entertainer. It sells for 6.3 million yen (US $68,000) and three are in use in Singapore, the U.S. and Japan, according to company spokeswoman Kayako Kido.

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