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Sat, Jun 16, 2007 - Page 10 News List

Robot to be master of ceremonies at engineer's wedding

AFP , SEOUL

A robot will be master of ceremonies for a South Korean wedding this weekend in what its creators yesterday claimed as a world first.

Hanool Robotics said Tiro the robot will assist at the civil wedding ceremony of Seok Gyeong-jae, one of the engineers who designed it, and his bride tomorrow in Daejeon, 130km south of Seoul.

The firm claims it is the first time a robot has been a master of ceremonies for a wedding.

After its marital duties are completed, "Tiro will be upgraded so that it can be used for various purposes," Hanool official Kim Dae-hyun said.

In case a robot master of ceremonies at a wedding might seem unromantic, Kim said Tiro -- whose value he put at 200 million won (US$215,000) -- would speak in a sweet female voice.

Other robots will be used to guide guests or give performances at the wedding ceremony, he said. In South Korea, couples can hold a wedding ceremony in any location but must then register their marriage with authorities before it becomes legal.

South Korean robots also get tougher tasks. Last month it was reported that a robot dubbed OFRO would be deployed as a school security guard in what was also claimed as a world first.

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