Saturday, August 21, 2010

Japanese couple get married by a Robot

Don’t you just love technology; basically whatever gadget the mind can conceive is yours, provided of course that you have all the necessary bits to put it together, and you’ve got to admit the Japanese are probably the best in the world at that.

A couple of Japanese robot fanatics who met each other whilst working on robots, have just got married, nothing unusual about that you might say, but their wedding is being billed as the first wedding ceremony in the world to have a non-human officiator, basically the couple were married by a robot.

36 year old Satoko Inoue and 42 year old Tomohiro Shibata decided that as robots were such a big part of their lives, and they met because of robots, they wanted to have a robot oversee their ceremony.

“It’s true that robots are what caused us to first begin going out, and as suggested by my wife, we decided that we wanted to try this sort of wedding,” Shibata told Reuters.

”I always felt that robots would become more integrated into people’s everyday lives. This cute robot is part of my company, I decided that I would love to have it at my ceremony,” added the bride.

I-Fairy, as the robot is called, was made by Japanese technology firm Kokoro, and looks remarkably like a robot funnily enough.

Standing at just four foot high, and complete with plastic pigtails, flashing eyes, a child-like voice, and a garland of flowers, I-Fairy conducted the ceremony on a rooftop restaurant in Hibiya Park in central Tokyo in front of around 50 guests.

The robot politely told the groom to lift the bride’s veil, so that the couple could kiss, and then it ended the ceremony with “congratulations on your wedding”.

Speaking about their wedding afterwards, it was obvious the couple were pleased with the way it went.

“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 the bride who works for Kokoro, the manufacturer of the robot.

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

It really could only happen in Japan couldn’t it?

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