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kissing awkwardly in front of a robot



Robot conducts first electronic wedding in Japan

Tomohiro Shibata and Satoko Inoue tied the knot yesterday under the watchful eye of a 1.5m android known as I-Fairy, in what the machine’s manufacturer, Kokoro, said was the first robot-led wedding in the world.

Wires led from the bottom of the robot, bolted to a chair in front of 50 guests at a rooftop restaurant in central Tokyo, to a black curtain a few metres away behind which a man crouched, using a computer to operate the electronic wedding conductor’s movement and utterances.

The robot, wearing a wreath of bright flowers and speaking in a tinny voice, waved its arms as it asked the groom to “Please lift the bride’s veil”, before inviting the newly-weds to kiss.

The happy couple chose this unique angle to their nuptials because they were keen to showcase an example of the new generation of androids. “This was a lot of fun,” Satoko Inoue, the 36-year-old bride who works at Kokoro, told the Associated Press. “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.”

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