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Humanoid robot "I-Fairy" acts as witness at wedding ceremony in Tokyo

05-17-2010 10:53 BJT

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When it comes to wedding ceremonies, couple usually prefer traditional rather than hi-tech. But bride and groom in Tokyo took their vows with a very unusual priest -- a humanoid robot. It was a world first.

This small robot with flashing eyes and plastic pigtails was given a wreath and flowers and reprogrammed to act as a priest, leading the couple down the aisle.

Commands were put into a computer from behind a black curtain a few meters away from the robot.

Satoko Shibata met her future husband, Tomohiro Shibata, through a project making robots.

Tomohiro Shibata, Groom, said, "I am very happy to experience such a memorable ceremony which is also the world's first wedding performed by a robot."


 A humanoid robot named "I-Fairy" (C) acts as a witness at the wedding ceremony between Tomohiro Shibata (L) and Satoko Inoue in Tokyo May 16, 2010. The couple decided to use the robot, which conducted the ceremony with its audio functions, from Inoue's company to perform the witness' duties as they first met due to common work interest related to robots.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
 A humanoid robot named "I-Fairy" (C) acts as a witness at the wedding ceremony 
between Tomohiro Shibata (L) and Satoko Inoue in Tokyo May 16, 2010. The 
couple decided to use the robot, which conducted the ceremony with its audio 
functions, from Inoue's company to perform the witness' duties as they first
met due to common work interest related to robots.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Tomohiro Shibata, Groom, said, "I am very happy to experience such a memorable ceremony which is also the world's first wedding performed by a robot."

Satoko Shibata, the bride, said, "I always believed that robots and people should blend together in a daily life. I decided to do the wedding with this cute robot that represents my company and wanted her to be a witness and be part of the most important event of my life."

Japan has one of the most advanced robotics industries in the world. Makers of the robot now plan to help more weddings cross the digital divide.

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