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Japanese Couple Married by $68,000 Robot

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.

*Image via the Times.

  • polly the parrot
    Well its more expensive than getting married in front of Best Buy or in the Apple Store, that's for sure.
    Reply
  • Keiki646
    They are a lovely couple and got married not too far from me.
    Reply
  • cloudberry
    They might be overseeing our wedding vows today, but they'll be overseeing our human slave mines tomorrow.
    Reply
  • Ohhh, he's a professor of robotics. I was going to say, "That's not very romantic." Somehow the face that he is a professor in robotics makes it seem normal to me.
    Reply
  • haunted one
    "This was a lot of fun. I think that Japanese have a strong sense that robots are our friends"


    I would be very worried for the Japanese if they are describing non-conscious things as "friends". o.o
    Reply
  • Kaiser_25
    lol makes me miss japan, lol all their weird eccentricities.
    Reply
  • "I would be very worried for the Japanese if they are describing non-conscious things as "friends". o.o"

    I agree. Having viewed multiple articles about stuff that happens in japan really makes me question how mental health can be affected by habitats like Tokyo where the population density is so large. Robot weddings, marrying a video game girlfriend, having multiple rape based video games, etc.

    Here in America its pretty bad as well. Like mentioned by polly the couples getting married in best buy or an apple store. That really shows how prevalent materialism has become in the average American psyche for events like these to happen and to be supported by others.
    Reply
  • Gin Fushicho
    Huhn.... well.. it was "controlled" .... I wouldn't consider something that couldn't think a friend.
    Reply
  • anamaniac
    Gin FushichoHuhn.... well.. it was "controlled" .... I wouldn't consider something that couldn't think a friend.I consider a large hydraulic system at work my enemy. Close enough?
    The electronics in it cost probably more, though it likely has less computing power than my bargain bin phone.
    Reply
  • After the wedding the Robot continued its search for Sarah Connor
    Reply