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Robot Hosts South Korean Wedding

A robot on Sunday acted as master of ceremonies at a South Korean wedding in what its creators claimed as a world first. Tiro the robot assisted at the wedding of Seok Gyeong-Jae, one of the engineers who designed it, and his bride at Daejeon, 130 kilometres (78 miles) south of Seoul.

"This is Tiro, master of ceremonies for today's wedding," the robot -- featuring a cone-shaped body, two arms and a dark-glassed face with eyes and a mouth of flashing lights -- said in front of smiling guests. In a male voice, the robot introduced the couple to the crowd, let the couple bow to them and performed its programmed duties. Manufacturer Hanool Robotics claims it is the first time a robot has been used as master of ceremonies at a wedding. After its marital duties, Tiro -- whose value was put at 200 million won (some 215,000 dollars) -- would be upgraded to perform various other functions, according to Hanool officials.

Small other robots were also at the ceremony to guide guests or give performances. South Korean robots have also been given harder tasks to tackle. 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. And last September government officials unveiled a high-tech, machine gun-toting sentry robot that could support troops along the heavily fortified border with North Korea.


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