So There Was This Robot Buddhist Monk...
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.”