Kokoro's I-Fairy Robot Conducts Wedding in Japan
Photo: Mr. Moriyama/Node
The groom is a robotics researcher. The bride works at a robotics firm. Robots brought them together. So when it came time to plan their wedding, the choice only seemed natural: A robot would conduct the ceremony.
The wedding took place today in Tokyo, according to this AP report. The groom was Tomohiro Shibata, a professor of robotics at the Nara Institute of Science and Technology in central Japan; the bride was Satoko Inoue, who works at famed robotics firm Kokoro.
Leading the ceremony was a little humanoid robot called I-Fairy with a high-pitch voice and flashing eyes. Kokoro, which unveiled the robot early this year, designed the I-Fairy as a robot receptionist and entertainer. It sells for 6.3 million yen (US $68,000).
The robot has a humanoid body in a sitting posture and, as the company puts it, its appearance was "based on the image of a lovely fairy." It can talk, gesture with its arms, and detect the presence of a person, according to this story in the Japanese blog Node.
Kokoro says this was the first time a robot celebrated a wedding.
At one point the robot told the groom: "Please lift the bride's veil."
Then the couple kissed.
Thanks, Dr. Kumagai!
Blog Post: Developed by the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, the theatrical robots performed the first robot kiss during a performance of Phantom of the Opera.
Blog Post: Geminoid F, a copy of a woman in her 20s with long dark hair, exhibits facial expressions more naturally than previous androids
Article: A Japanese roboticist is building androids to understand humans--starting with himself