Humanoid robot “I-Fairy” acts as witness at wedding ceremony in Tokyo
A humanoid robot named “I-Fairy” acts as a witness at the wedding ceremony between Tomohiro Shibata and Satoko Inoue in Tokyo May 16, 2010. The couple decided to use the robot, which conducted the ceremony with its audio functions, from Inoue’s company to perform the witness’ duties as they first met due to common work interest related to robots. I-Fairy Robot Officiates Wedding. The wedding ceremony was led by “I-Fairy”, a 4-foot (1.5 meter) tall seated robot with flashing eyes and plastic pigtails. It had flashing
eyes to confirm its messages to humans during the ceremony and it wore a wreath of flowers, a tiny voice, and waves its arms. The wedding took place at a restaurant in Hibiya Park in central Tokyo and had a rooftop ceremony. I-Fairy had wires led out from beneath it to a black curtain just a few meters away where a man crouched and clicked commands into a computer.The couple decided to use a robot to officiate their wedding since they are both connected with Japan’s thriving robotics industry and it was through project making robots that they met. The Bride Satoko Inoue, who works at Kokoro, 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.” The Groom Tomohiro Shibata, 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 bit more clever, but she is very good at expressing herself.” ~ I-FAIRY – As its name suggests, it’s an information robot based on the image of a lovely fairy. It’s very adaptable like a fairy which can change direction quickly. Characteristics ofI-FAIRY; Design concept. In spite of its sophisticated futuristic design, I-FAIRY has a cute presence.It is gaining attention of people, irrespective of age or sex. We dared to select “human-style” design because we can confidently
recommend the punch and fun of a “human vs human” communication style from our experience of having created surprising and excitement through manufacturing amusement robots.Good operability; You can change its voice and movements at will with easy PC operation.It is best suited for the use in facilities where information is frequently updated, or as a receptionist for various events, etc. Automatic movement generation software is standard equipped which generates the robot’s movements in accordance with voice.High cost performance; The price of I-FAIRY is 6,300,000 yen. It has high durability as well as usability by which you can change voice and movements easily. You never need commonly-required fees to change the robot’s performance. You can also keep maintenance fees low. So I-FAIRY has very high cost performance for a long term use with saving maintenance fees. I-FAIRY has three ways of speaking 1. Text input & Reading aloud function. You type text into the PC with the contents which you want I-FAIRY to speak. Then I-FAIRY reads it aloud by synthesized voice. 2. Use of recorded voice. You can use narration pre-recorded via PC. 3. Human narrator speaking through a microphone. I-FAIRY can make gestures automatically in accordance with voice. By applying such function, you can put on a robot live show full of live feelings in which a narrator performs the role of I-FAIRY and interacts with the audience using a microphone.Why can I-FAIRY make natural movements automatically? By analyzing “intervals” and “intonation” of the speech, natural human-like gestures are automatically
generated by a computer.The automatic action mode enables not only automatic movements but also assignment of chosen movements such as pointing to products or other places, waving a hand at last, etc. at arbitrary timing. This makes easy setting of detailed and more effective performance.Kokoro, the manufacturer of I-Fairy, also makes giant dinosaur robots for exhibitions and lifelike android models that can smile and laugh. It is a subsidiary of Sanrio Co. Since it was established in 1984, Kokoro has developed a wide variety of robots including dinosaurs, animals and humanoids based on the main theme “touch the hearts of the people”. Kokoro’s “Mechatro-Art” techniques are created by our delicate blend of sophisticated art techniques and life-like movements. This unique perspective has made the name of Kokoro and our trademark “Doukoku – moving sculpture” known in the entertainment industries around the world. Not only in the animatronics field but also in vending machine businesses in Japan, Kokoro has provided greater enjoyment of food for children through Hello Kitty’s popcorn vending machines. In a few years time, it will be a quarter of a century since Kokoro was established.There have been remarkable changes and developments made all over the world in this period.This continuous innovation will accelerate in the future. With our accumulated technologies and expertise, Kokoro will proactively develop our innovative technologies and continue to grow in order to develop new entertainment and service robots for the future. sources: sevensidedcube.net – kokoro-dreams.co.jp
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