We are beginning to see robots wandering into all kinds of areas of our lives, slowly but surely. It's almost inevitable then, that religion might be one of those areas - and indeed, here we have a robot "monk" that can chant and answer some basic questions on the tenets of the Buddhist faith.
At 2ft high, Xian’er is encased in saffron-yellow robes and has a shaved head. Despite spending much of his time closeted in the spiritual calm of Longquan Temple, he wears an expression of permanent surprise.
He started his existence as a cartoon drawn by Xianfian when he joined the temple in 2011. Xianfian described Xian’er as “a reflection of innovative Buddhist spirit … [who] might help traditional Buddhism reach a wider public more easily.”