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A new monk has joined services at a Buddhist temple on the outskirts of Beijing. He moves around the temple, chanting Buddhist mantras, and talks to anyone who is eager to engage him in a conversation. Although, visitors have to stoop real low to talk to him, because he is only two feet tall, and made of metal and plastic.

Named Xian'er, the robot monk, resembles a cartoon-like novice monk in yellow robes with a shaven head, holding a touch screen on his chest. Xian'er can hold a conversation by answering about 20 simple questions about Buddhism and daily life, listed on his screen, and perform seven types of motions on his wheels. Master Xianfan, Xian’er’s creator, said the robot monk was the perfect vessel for spreading the wisdom of Buddhism in China, through the fusion of science and Buddhism.


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© Amusing Planet, 2016.


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