photo credit: Kim Kyung-Roon/Reuters
In Japan, robots are seemingly everywhere, from hanging out with your grandparents to making your ice cream. SoftBank’s Pepper is a humanoid robot that can perform a number of tasks and has found work in places like banks, nursing homes, and restaurants.
Robot Priest Sending You to Afterlife
Well thanks to molding company Nissei Eco and their programming, Pepper is looking to find work in funeral homes as a Buddhist robot priest. Yes, you read that correctly, this robot priest wants to officiate your funeral. During the ceremony, he will chant, recite prayers, and tap a drum as you are sent off into the next life. For full authenticity, Pepper can even be properly dressed in a full Buddhist robe.
We know what you thinking. Why? Well dying in Japan is actually really expensive as funerals can cost over $25,000. Plus with the aging and shrinking population, priests are sometimes hard to find. When you do find one they cost on average $2100. Nissei Eco is looking offer the Pepper robot priest at just $450 per funeral.
Pepper the Robot Priest Will Live Stream Your Funeral
The four-foot-tall bot was originally designed to be the first robot capable of perceiving and responding to our emotions. Thus it can be programmed to show empathy during difficult events like a funeral.
In case your loved ones can’t make the ceremony, Pepper can even live stream so perhaps they can play Fortnite and pay their respects at the same time. Unfortunately(or fortunately), Pepper has not yet been hired to officiate a funeral.
Going too Far?
So we are pretty open-minded here on Yell Robot and admittedly some of the tech stuff we report on is a bit out there. In our opinion, something like a robot priest is going a bit too far. Funerals are a somber occasion and meant for people to pray, mourn and honor the person who’s recently passed. Having a robotic priest there could easily be a distraction and take the seriousness out of the occasion. We get that funerals can get pricey, but couldn’t a friend or relative perform the ceremony instead of a robot? Then again maybe the person who died was a massive tech geek and would get a kick out of a robot officiating his or her send off.
Tell us what you think in the comments section