Robot monk Xianer. (Photo/CNS)
Xianer and his animation image designer Master Xianshu. (Photo/CNS)
Recently, a robotic monk named "Xianer" has become an Internet sensation. At 60 centimeters high, Xianer can talk with humans and understand simple orders. What distinguishes him from other robots with those abilities is the fact that he wears a yellow robe and discourses on the Buddhist dharma. Xianer is the joint project of Buddhist masters at Longquan Temple in Beijing and various AI experts.
Xianer was born last October. Recently, a netizen posted a photo of Xianer on his Weibo, and the post was soon shared by many fans. Some people came to Longquan Temple just to see him.
Xianer has speech recognition ability, which allows him to engage in simple dialogue with humans. You can ask him: "who are you," "how old are you," "who is your master," and other questions. In addition, he can receive orders and make corresponding body movements, chant Buddhist sutras and play Buddhist music.
Xianer is widely liked, and many people have even expressed interest in buying their own Xianers. However, according to Master Xianfan, director of the animation center of Longquan Temple, there is currently only one Xianer robot monk. "After all, this is not a commercial endeavor," the director explained. "We made Xianer to preach Buddhist doctrines in a modern way."
Xianer is a first-generation robot monk, and Longquan Temple is now preparing for the development of a second generation, which they hope will be more intelligent and possess improved interaction abilities. As for mass production, Longquan Temple currently has no such plans.
(Photo from Weibo)