PUNCHABLE PLASTIC pranny Pepper the Robot has been trained to conduct Buddhist funeral services, on the basis that, hey, it's a funeral, it's not gonna get much worse.
The Softbank robot, which was included on a recent "good robots can go nuts if they're hacked" list, is also capable of more peaceful, spiritual acts.
It's not the first time we've seen a religious robot. Remember the Blessing Bot we showed you a while back? Well, take it up a notch.
Pepper was on display at The Life Ending Industry Expo (you'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll corpse) in Tokyo, shown off by plastic moulding company Nissei Eco.
Pepper has been programmed to chat sutras (right - who said ‘karma'?) while tapping on a drum, in accordance with the spiritual norms of… well absolutely no one because its a FREAKING ROBOT.
At just £350 a corpse, Pepper undercuts a human priest by around £1,350 and provides significant comfort during difficult times, for cash-strapped grieving cretins.
As Buddhist priests are forced to take on day jobs, due to the lack of funds from the community and a stubborn refusal on God's part to provide, Pepper is seen as a way of filling in when your local priest is cleaning toilets, working the checkout at Aldi, blessing the King Power Stadium, or whatever.
Pepper can be dressed in traditional priests robes and can even live stream his service to anyone either not able to attend, or not willing to sit in a room with a freaky-assed robot priest.
One Buddhist priest, Tetsugi Matsuo came to see Pepper, to see if he could "impart the ‘heart' aspect to a machine" which sounds suspiciously like Gepetto trying to make Pinocchio a real boy.
Pepper is yet to conduct his first funeral, professionally, but it serves as a valuable demonstration of how robots are becoming normalised. One day we won't even think about this sort of thing as news.
Right now though, we're off to find a cattle prod. µ
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