Buddhist Robot Mindar Preaches at Temple in Kyoto

We’ve had robots conducting funerals and helping people find spouses. Well, it seems that they are now preaching at Buddhist temples.

At the Kodaiji Temple in Kyoto, a robot is preaching the teachings of Buddha. The humanoid’s name is Mindar and she’s inspired by the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy Kannon Bodhisattva.

Created by Tokyo based A-Lab Co, Mindar stands a bit over six feet tall and weighs 130 pounds. Her body is made of aluminum while silicone is used for the face and hands. The realistic (and a bit creepy) looking humanoid mouths every word of the sermon.

Buddhist Robot Teaches Heart Sutra

Recently, Mindar gave a speech on the Heart Sutra which is one of Buddhism’s key scriptures. She spoke in Japanese while English and Chinese subtitles were projected on the wall. The temple hopes the robot will help spark interest in Buddhism with those who may previously had little connection.

“If an image of Buddha speaks, teachings of Buddhism will probably be easier to understand,” said Tensho Goto, the chief steward of the temple.  “We want many people to come to see the robot to think about the essence of Buddhism.”

No word on if the robot came up with the sermon herself or was “inspired” by human handlers. Mindar will be on display between March 8 and May 6.

credit: Kyoto News

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