In a bid to attract people to Buddhism, Chinese scientists have created a robotic monk which can chant Buddhist mantras, move via voice command and hold simple conversation with visitors. Xian’er, the two-feet long robot would welcome visitors in Longquan Buddhist temple in the outskirts of Beijing.
Xian’er resembles a cartoon-like novice monk in yellow robes with a shaven head. The robot has a touch screen fitted on its chest and it can hold conversation with visitors by answering about 20 simple questions listed on its screen that are related to Buddhism and daily life. Additionally the robot monk can even perform seven types of motions by using its wheels.
“Science and Buddhism are not opposing nor contradicting, and can be combined and mutually compatible,” said Xianfan, Xian’er’s creator. The robot monk is the joint effort of a technology company, artificial intelligence experts and some of China’s top universities.