Xian'er: The Robot That Offers Century-Old Wise Words in Beijing Temple
A cute looking robot that resembles a Buddhist monk is taking over the internet. Xian'er from the Longquan Temple in Beijing is a robot that can engage in simple conversation and can dispense century-old wisdom for your spiritual growth.
China continues to venture its technology in robotics despite the setbacks in robots employed in restaurants last year. Today, images of a chubby robot monk dispensing spiritual wisdom have filled Chinese social media sites Weibo and WeChat for the past week.
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Standing around 60-cm-tall and dressed in a yellow robe, the robotic monk Xian'er has speech recognition ability, making him capable of engaging in dialogues with humans. He can process orders and make corresponding actions like chanting Buddhist sutras and playing Buddhist music.
Xian'er is a first-generation robot monk developed by Longquan Temple in October last year. He was featured in a cartoon series "Trouble, you seek for yourself" that was published by the Temple. The main goal of the animated films that featured Xian'er is to promote Buddhism teachings in a relatable way so people may lead a happy and harmonious life.
Master Xianfan, creator of the Xian'er character and also manages the animation of the Temple, said that Xian'er will not be commercialized despite many visitors urging. Longquan Temple is currently preparing for the development of a second generation robot, which they hope will be able to process more information and engage in more interactions.
For years now, Master Xuengcheng has shared his teachings on different Chinese social media platforms. He now has more than 300,000 followers on his Weibo account. The Venerated Master takes time each day to answer all inquiries of other users. The new approach of may be a far cry from the traditional pilgrimages to temples, however, taking advantage of technology is aligned with the goal of spreading the teachings of Buddha. As a result, more people may apply Buddha's teachings in their day-to-day dealings.