02/25/2019, 13.11
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Kyoto temple gets android goddess of mercy

Japan’s famed Kodaiji temple worked with one of the world's leading robotics experts to build a talking Kannon. The robotic deity has hands that can fold in prayer, can move parts of the body and recite sutras.

Kyoto (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The Kodaiji temple in Kyoto unveiled the Android Kannon, the Buddhist goddess of mercy, which can preach sutras and interact with human beings.

The robot will begin its official "preaching" in March, but it is already possible to see it at work.

The famed Kyoto temple was built by the wife of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the 16th-century warlord who unified Japan, to commemorate her husband.

“Buddhism saw a phenomenal spread in the world with the emergence of Buddhist images,” said Tensho Goto, one of the temple priests. “We are hoping that the Android Kannon will help Buddhist teachings reach the hearts of people today.”

The project is the result of collaboration between the zen temple and Hiroshi Ishiguro, professor of intelligent robotics at Osaka University.

The android is programmed to deliver a “sermon” from the Heart Sutras in Japanese. The translated versions of English and Chinese are projected on a screen.

The android is 195 cm tall, weighs 60 kilos, and can move head, arms and torso.

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