Japanese scientists have reprogrammed a robot to recite and perform funeral rites. People can hire and use the robot when a Buddhist priest is not available.


A  company in Japan has introduced a new role for SoftBank’s humanoid robot Pepper. The robot is programed to be a Buddhist priest for hire at funerals. It chants sutras in a computerized voice while tapping a drum.


It cost less than 50,000 yen (about $450) per funeral compared to more than 240,000 yen ($2,200) for a human priest.

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.


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