Robot monk

Japanese Company Marketing Robot Monks

Robo-religion anyone? In the latest rush towards the brave new world of robotic folly, a plastics manufacturer in Japan, Nissei Eco, has introduced a new product—a four-foot-tall robot monk. The device will offer its services to perform last rites. R2D2’s fee for the service is 50,000 yen, considerably less than what the Japanese ordinarily pay for such services. The device was originally developed by SoftBank Robotics as the first robot to be able to live with humans and respond to human emotions. The robots are already working as receptionists in hospitals and customer service representatives in banks. (Next challenge: getting humans to live with themselves.) —TV

Photo: Nissei Eco Co.