In an effort to appeal to a younger generation, a temple in Japan has enlisted the help of a robot priest. The somewhat eerie-looking android, dubbed Mindar, is reportedly based on a Buddhist deity known as Kannon and cost nearly a million dollars to create. Since February, the robot priest has presided over services at the 400-year-old Kodaiji temple in the city of Kyoto.
While its head, shoulders, and hands sport a silicon coating which gives it the appearance of a human, the rest of the robot is uncovered and gives the machine a rather uncanny composition. So far, reviews of the android's work have been mixed with some visitors to the temple marveling at the marriage of modernity and ancient religion. Others, however, say that Mindar's sermons felt fake and, intriguingly, those from the West have expressed concern that the creation is a form of sacrilege.
More on this story, including video of Mindar in action, at the Coast to Coast AM website.