We all know that most jobs will be replaced by robots in the coming years, but somehow I always thought priests were pretty safe. Not so.
Oddity Central is reporting about a line of Buddhist robots that can perform funeral services at a fraction of the cost demanded by human priests.
Nissei Eco, a company that has been involved in the funeral business since 2000, recently launched a new campaign targeting budget-conscious customers that don’t mind having a robot chanting mantras and reciting sutras, instead of a human priest. The incentive is quite attractive, as a funeral service performed by a Buddhist Pepper robot is priced at just ¥50,000 ($460), significantly cheaper than having a real priest do it.
Nissei Eco has its Buddhist robots wear traditional priest clothing and garments, but admits that their service is primarily aimed at secular-minded customers in search of cheaper alternatives to the traditional rituals associated with death. This endeavor is apparently part of a large-scale campaign to bring innovation to an industry struggling to adapt to changing times.
So, yeah, as if funerals weren’t dark enough already, we now have emotionless robots performing last rites. It’s really hard to imagine what’s next…
Funny you should ask…
The days of simply stuffing a pair of overalls with straw and hanging it in your cornfield to scare away the crows is OVER. A Japanese robotics firm has created a high-tech robo-wolf that is programmed to guard your fields from birds, deer, and wild boars.
The robotic hell-hound is equipped with an infrared ray sensor that lets it detect animals as they approach. When they get to close, the robot activates. The eyes start glowing red, its head moves from one side to the other to create the illusion that it is alive, and it is capable of playing approximately 40 different sounds in rotation, from wolf howling, to human voices and even gunshots, at high volume. And if you don’t trust its intruder detection capabilities, Super Monster Wolf also comes with a timer, so you can program it to activate at certain intervals.
The creators of Super Robot Wolf began testing it at a Sapporo botanical garden called Kaiyuen, in December of last year. Wild animals like deer used to damage the trees and other plants there, in search of food, but ever since the modern scarecrow was installed, incidents decreased by 90%. The farmers of JA Kisarazu-shi also had nothing but praise for their new best friend, saying that there have been no signs of wild animals or birds near their crops since Super Monster Wolf was installed on July 11.
Although technically still in trial phase, Super Robot Wolf has been performing so well that Ohta Seiki has already announced plans to put it on the market in September. Each unit will retail for about ¥200,000 ($1,800). Not the cheapest scarecrow money can buy, but definitely the most advanced one.