the $1 million robotic Buddhist priest

the $1 million robotic Buddhist priest

Who: The robot Mindar. The robot was designed by Kohei Ogawa and created by a team led by Hiroshi Ishiguro, a renown roboticist and professor of intelligent robotics at Osaka University.

the Idea:

The main goal was to redesign a Buddhist statue using modern robotics technology. The result was a $1 million collaboration between the temple and Osaka University in which researchers decided Mindar should channel Kannon Bodhisattva, the Buddhist deity of mercy.

How: Mindar preaches inside Kodaiji temple, a 400-year-old temple and leads sermons for the younger generation in Japanese, in a voice something akin to that of a woman and a child.

Sermons are broadcast on the screen at the back and translated into English and Chinese, unfortunately, you can’t talk to the robot yet. That has no AI, but the creators do not rule  out this possibility.

Anyway, if you still wanted to see what it means to worship machines, this is about what it looks like:





Materials/ technology:Mindar is a mostly aluminum androgynous robotic priest who gives plain-spoken sermons that are designed to stimulate interest in Buddhist teachings, according to the machine’s designers. Standing more than 6 feet tall and weighing nearly 70 pounds. The machine is able to move its torso, arms and head, which is covered in a pasty silicone that resembles lifelike human skin and it has a camera embedded in its left eye. The android is programmed to deliver a 25-minute sermon, moving its torso, arms and head

Similar project: a doe-eyed humanoid robot named “Pepper”.


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