The Buddha-Bot: Chinese Temple Enlists Mini Monk Robot To Boost Teachings

Photo by Kim Kyung-Hoon / Reuters

According to Joseph Campbell via Reuters: “A Buddhist temple on the outskirts of Beijing has decided to ditch traditional ways and use technology to attract followers. Longquan temple says it has developed a robot monk that can chant Buddhist mantras, move via voice command, and hold a simple conversation.

Photo by Kim Kyung-Hoon / Reuters

Named Xian’er, the 60-cm (2-foot) tall robot resembles a cartoon-like novice monk in yellow robes with a shaven head, holding a touch screen on his chest. Xian’er can hold a conversation by answering about 20 simple questions about Buddhism and daily life, listed on his screen, and perform seven types of motions on his wheels. Master Xianfan, Xian’er’s creator, said the robot monk was the perfect vessel for spreading the wisdom of Buddhism in China, through the fusion of science and Buddhism.

Photo by Kim Kyung-Hoon / Reuters

“Science and Buddhism are not opposing nor contradicting, and can be combined and mutually compatible”, said Xianfan.

Photo by Kim Kyung-Hoon / Reuters

Under the careful watch of China’s officially atheist Communist Party, religion has slowly crept back into daily life since reforms got going several decades ago. Xianfan said Buddhism filled a gap for people in a fast-changing, smart-phone dominated society.

Photo by Kim Kyung-Hoon / Reuters

“Buddhism is something that attaches much importance to inner heart, and pays attention to the individual’s spiritual world”, he said.

Photo by Kim Kyung-Hoon / Reuters

The little robot monk was developed as a joint project between a technology company and artificial intelligence experts from some of China’s top universities. It was unveiled to the public in October. But Xian’er is not necessarily the social butterfly many believe him to be

Photo by Kim Kyung-Hoon / Reuters

He has toured several robotics and innovation fairs across China but rarely makes public appearances at Longquan temple. Xian’er spends most of his days “meditating” on a shelf in an office, even though curiosity about him has exploded on social media. Xian’er was inspired by Xianfan’s 2013 cartoon creation of the same name.

Photo by Kim Kyung-Hoon / Reuters

The temple has produced cartoon animations, published comic anthologies, and even merchandise featuring the cartoon monk. The temple is developing a new model of Xian’er, which it says will have a more diverse range of functions.”

Photo by Kim Kyung-Hoon / Reuters

Photo by Kim Kyung-Hoon / Reuters

Photo by Kim Kyung-Hoon / Reuters

Photo by Kim Kyung-Hoon / Reuters

Photo by Kim Kyung-Hoon / Reuters

Photo by Kim Kyung-Hoon / Reuters

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)

Leave Your Comment Below

More Inspiring Stories

Concepts From Future Past: 1986 Italdesign Machimoto
India's 22 Karat Gold Plated Goldplus Nano Car
As The Standard Of The World Turns: Lovely Photos Of 1965 Cadillac Coupe DeVille
This Clock Has A Levitating Sphere That Tells The Time
North Korea 'Launches Own Smartphone'
Colossal Full Body Headphone
Evolution of The Planet of the Apes
An Apple-Inspired Concept Smart Home Hub That Looks And Feels Like A Cat
1981 SAAB 906 Turbo, Sweden’s 6-Wheeled Colossal With Full Variety of Gadgets
Stunning New Close-Ups Show Saturn's Rings At Double The Detail We've Ever Seen
Concepts From Future Past: 1970 Ferrari Modulo 512
The Space Hotel
The Amazon Tall Tower Observatory
ROME “3 Dreams of Black”
A $2 Million Porsche-Designed RV Has A Full Bedroom And Bathroom
Wonderful Photos Of 1954 Chevrolet Corvair, Which Was Touted As A New Aerodynamic Design
Funny Air Filter Gives You a Dog Nose Filter in Real Life
Virtual Reality Device Allows Users to Wander the Forest through the Eyes of an Animal
Range Rover Driver Slates Dealership By Graffitiing His Own Car With Angry Messages
A Car For The Jet Age: Cool Pics Of The 1956 Oldsmobile Golden Rocket
Explorer Visits Abandoned and World's Largest Ekranoplan, Here Are Some Great Pictures of The Inside and Outside
This Is How The Practical Miniatures For Blade Runner 2049 Were Created
This Art Collective Creates Concepts That Have Emerged From The Coronavirus Pandemic
In the Memory of Steve: Photo Tribute
Glen Canyon Dam in Page, Arizona
A Walking Bicycle That Uses The Mechanical Design Of Theo Jansen’s Kinetic Wind-Powered Strandbeest
"The Stereo Cycles Of Sicily": Palermo Teens Pump Up The Velo
Chinese Company Set Up A Simulation Of Mars In The Gobi Desert
Flashing Falsies: Will LED Eyelashes Be The New Beauty Trend?
The Story In Pictures Of The Giant Hughes H-4 Hercules Made Entirely Of Wood In 1945-1947