A New Job for Robots

A temple in Kyoto has a new job for a robot: giving a sermon. The robot, which moves and speaks, presents a 25-minute sermon on a traditional Buddhist text called the Heart Sutra.

The robot was designed by Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro of Osaka University. Ishiguro is known for human-like but androgynous robots. The Kyoto robot is called Mindar, and was inspired by the Buddhist goddess of mercy. A human-like face, neck, and hands are combined with metal and silicon limbs and body to make a high-tech sculpture which gives the impression of eye contact and human-like gestures.

Is the figure a robot “doing the work of a goddess,” as NPR puts it?  Or is it a work of art incorporating modern technology? Over the millennia, saints and deities have been depicted in every medium and material. Why not robotics?

The Smithsonian has a clockwork monk designed during the Renaissance to look as though it were praying. The monk, like other clockwork figures of the time, is probably best understood as artwork.

The NPR headline appears to put Mindar into the category of robots taking away jobs, which probably is not quite on target.

Mindar will be on public display next week. Meanwhile, call us immediately if your Rexroth electric motion control is in need of support or service, no matter what kind of motion you’re controlling.

We offer phone service, field service, factory repair and reman, and the largest inventory of Rexroth replacement units in the nation. Whether you have legacy components, including the earliest Indramat units, or the newest Rexroth motion control systems for Industry 4.0, we can get you back up and running fast.

Don’t take a chance on third party repair shops. They won’t have access to original parts or factory specs. Factory repair or reman will get your part back to you in like-new condition, with a new warranty.


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