The bride glided down the aisle in a long white dress, before vows were exchanged with the groom and their union was sealed with a kiss. This may sound like a conventional wedding aside from one crucial difference: the bride and the groom were robots. Japan’s first “robot wedding” took place over the weekend in Tokyo, during which Frois, the groom, tied the knot with his humanoid robot bride Yukirin. Frois, a chunky red and silver robot wearing a bow tie, extended a silver disk from his mouth in order to plant an awkward kiss on Yukirin, dressed in a white dress with a large silk bow. he wedding, officiated by Pepper, the recently launched Softbank robot able to interpret emotions, took place in front of around 100 paying guests, who had earlier received invitations with an image of the two robots encased in a heart. After the couple were “married”, the wedding party began, complete with robot dance performances, a buffet and a tiered white cake strewn with pink petals. The wedding was the brainchild of Maywa Denki, an avant-garde technology-focused art unit, and took place on Saturday. Bearing in mind its status as a nation famed for its love of Western-style weddings as well as robotics, it is perhaps little surprise that Japan became the first to bring the two together by staging such an event. Five years ago, a four-foot humanoid robot called I-Fairy conducted a real-life wedding ceremony for a couple in Tokyo, which also claimed to be the first event of its kind.
A Reuters-Ipsos poll taken this month found 54 percent of Americans held an unfavourable opinion of Obama, known for his cool and cautious presidential style, while 46 percent were favourable. In contrast, asked to imagine that David Palmer of "24" was president, 89 percent of those who had seen the real-time Fox counterterrorism drama said they held a favourable rating of the decisive president played by Dennis Haysbert. Martin Sheen's Jed Bartlet of "The West Wing" - beloved by Democrats, including many who work in Obama's White House - was rated favourably by 82 percent of its NBC viewers. In the dark universe of "Battlestar Galactica" on SyFy, president Laura Roslin, played by Mary McDonnell, drew a 78 percent favourable rating among fans of her quest to find earth and escape the Cylons, a race of humanoid killer robots. With Americans sharply divided along partisan lines, it is unlikely that any real-life president could achieve sky-high favourability ratings, said Tevi Troy, a presidential historian and author of "What Jefferson Read, Ike Watched, and Obama Tweeted," a study of popular culture in the White House. "Pretty much half the country is going to be predisposed against you just because that's the way we line up with Republicans and Democrats," Troy said. Unlike fictional presidents, with their camera-ready looks and perfect timing, real-life presidents sometimes fumble. Republican Ronald Reagan, who was an actor before turning to politics and eventually becoming president, was an exception, Troy said. "His media people would say how great it was that he always hit his marks," said Troy, who was a top domestic policy adviser in Republican George W Bush's administration. Morally challenged fictional presidents also topped Obama's favourability ratings in the Reuters-Ipsos poll. Of those who watch ABC's steamy drama "Scandal," 60 percent had a favourable view of Fitzgerald "Fitz" Grant, the philandering, scotch-swilling president played by Tony Goldwyn.