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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Kaleidoscope
Robot-for-hire programmed to perform funeral rites
    2017-August-31  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

A JAPANESE company has introduced a new role for SoftBank’s humanoid robot “Pepper” — a Buddhist priest for hire at funerals.

Chanting sutras in a computerized voice while tapping a drum, the robot was on display Wednesday at a funeral industry fair — the Life Ending Industry Expo — in Tokyo.

Nissei Eco Co., an unlisted plastic molding maker, wrote the chanting software for “Pepper,” which was introduced by SoftBank Group Corp. in 2014.

With Japan’s population ageing and shrinking, many Buddhist priests receive less financial support from their communities, prompting some to find part-time work outside their temple duties, said Michio Inamura, Nissei’s executive adviser.

The funeral robot could step in when a priest is not available, he said. It also costs less at 50,000 yen (US$450) per funeral compared to more than 240,000 yen for a human priest.

(SD-Agencies)

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