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In Japan, robot-for-hire programed to perform Buddhist funeral rites

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Reuters
August 23, 2017

A Japanese company has introduced a new role for SoftBank’s humanoid robot “Pepper” – a Buddhist priest for hire at funerals. 

Chanting sutras in a computerized voice while tapping a drum, the robot was on display on Wednesday at a funeral industry fair – the Life Ending Industry Expo – in Tokyo.

Nissei Eco Co., an unlisted plastic molding maker, wrote the chanting software for “Pepper”, which was introduced by SoftBank Group Corp. in 2014.

With Japan’s population ageing and shrinking, many Buddhist priests receive less financial support from their communities, prompting some to find part-time work outside their temple duties, said Michio Inamura, Nissei’s executive adviser.

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This article was posted: Wednesday, August 23, 2017 at 11:13 am





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