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article imageRobot marries couples in Japan

By Jane Fazackarley     May 16, 2010 in Technology
A couple in Japan have been married by a robot. This was the first ceremony of its kind and the robot, know as the I-Fairy, was the first to ask the happy couple to kiss following the service.
The I-Fairy comes complete with pigtails and a pair of flashing eyes. The ceremony was held on the roof of a hotel in Tokyo.
The couple, Tomohiro Shibata and Satoko Inoue, both work in technology and the bride, Inoue, works for Kokoro, the Japanese company that are behind the development of the I-Fairy robot.
The I-Fairy stands at just 4ft tall and was decorated in some flowers for the ceremony which was held in front of 50 guests.
The robot worked by receiving commands that are typed in to a computer. For the wedding, the wires that connect to the I-Fairy were disguised by a curtain.
The I-Fairy carries a price tag of £46,000 and a spokesperson for the manufacturers say there are only three of them in the world, all of which are being used at this time.
In an article with the The Guardian the bride said:
"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."
But her now husband ,Tomohiro Shibata, would have liked it had the robot been a little more intelligent. He said: "It would be nice if the robot was a bit more clever, but she is very good at expressing herself."
The I-Fairy, according to the company's website, is low cost to maintain and is designed to be "human-style".
It has natural movements and can point and wave. The robot is able to speak, dance and has the ability, through a sensor, to meet and greet visitors and even give them a guided tour.
Kokoro Company Ltd are also behind Animatronics and and the Doukoku Dinasours.
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