Japanese company Nisseieco Co., Ltd. on Wednesday (August 23) unveiled a 'robot priest' they have programmed to help with tasks at Buddhist temples, including the reading of Buddhist scripture during funeral ceremonies.
The humanoid robot named "Pepper", designed by Japanese telecommunications company Softbank, was seen in action wearing a Buddhist robe chanting sutras at Japan's largest funeral and cemetery expo.
Michio Inamura, the company's executive adviser, said the robot would be able to fulfill religious duties that are increasingly neglected in society.
He added that a robot would be a cheaper option for families, costing just $457 per funeral compared to the typical cost of more than $2000 per funeral for a human priest.
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