When Tomohiro Shibata and Satoko Inoue decided to get married, they wanted to do something that would represent their ties with the robotics industry in Japan. It was this that led to their wedding ceremony being overseen by a robot.
The wedding took place on a rooftop restaurant in Tokyo. The 4-foot tall robot with flashing eyes and plastic pigtails sat bolted to a chair for the duration of the wedding. She wore a plastic wreath on her head and was controlled by a man behind a curtain a few feet away.
The bride, Satoko Inoue, is an employee of Kokoro, the manufacturer of the robot. Speaking to the AP, she 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."
Her husband, a professor of robotics at the Nara Institute of Science and Technology in central Japan, said it would be nice if the robot was a little smarter. "It would be nice if the robot was a bit more clever, but she is very good at expressing herself," Tomohiro Shibata said.
According to the AP, the I-Fairy sells for about 6.3 million yen ($68,000). It has 18 degrees of motion in its arms, and mainly repeats pre-programmed movements and sounds. Three are in use in Singapore, the U.S. and Japan.