What if you could have an immortal being deliver your funeral service? At this week's Tokyo International Funeral & Cemetery Show — a must-attend event for funeral directors around the world — a Japanese tech company called Softbank debuted a robot able to perform Buddhist funeral rites.
The robot presided over a faux ceremony. "Pepper" chanted several Buddhist sutras, and wore traditional Japanese funeral garb. Traditionally, a Buddhist monk presiding over a service would cost thousands. Japan's Nissei Eco developed the robotic program for situations in which a human practitioner is unavailable, or a family can't afford the regular price.