A Buddhist temple in Beijing built a robotic monk to spread the word

The robotic monk is facing a wall, charging up when I first approach the Longquan Temple’s booth at TechCrunch’s event in Hangzhou, China. There’s probably a good metaphor here for meditation or mindfulness, but as a terrible meditator who semi-regularly runs into objects while his mind is somewhere else entirely, I’m struggling to find the right one.

The whole spectacle is an unusual one, alongside row after row of the Chinese companies that dot Startup Alley. Robe-wearing monks meander around, in front of cartoon drawings and figures of Xian’er, the “Worthy Stupid Robot Monk.” He’s a two-foot-high robot who’s something akin to a Buddhist version of Softbank’s Pepper. He’s an adorable little ‘bot with little in the way of articulation, who…

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