These Japanese Robots Are Here To Help People Grieve

These Japanese Robots Are Here To Help People Grieve

In Japan the mourning period lasts 49 days. For those who are struggling with grief, it is now possible to print the 3D face of your loved one and have it placed on a robot. A special robot that can speak and imitates the deceased whilst their loved ones are morning.

It might sound like a bad joke, but it’s not. We know that Japan is at the forefront of robotics - with a robot for everyday task, such as the cleaning robot. Now, they’ve come up with a whole new idea: here is the comforting robot.

To fill the emptiness of someone’s presence, Digital Shaman had the idea to create a 3D face perfectly imitating the face of a dead person on a robot. Etsuko Ichihara, the creator of this robot, told Nippon TV that she had decided to start this unusual project after her grandmother's death: ‘I perfectly remember the funeral, makeup was applied on her face. My grandmother passed away, we put flowers in her coffin, and after her cremation, our family picked up the bones from her ashes, It was a shocking ritual.‘

If you’re interested in doing so, you must apply BEFORE the death of your beloved one

Not only does the robot have the face of your relative, it also imitates their attitudes and little quirks. That's why it is essential to apply before the death of the person. The person concerned will have to participate in an interview with Etsuko Ichihara in order to record their physical gestures as well as messages.

After death, relatives can program the robot that will replace the deceased. One small detail to keep in mind, the robot will only function 49 days, the traditional Buddhist mourning period.

One piece of advice if you’re thinking of going through this process: Don’t get too attached.

• Emma Jensen
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