A Buddhist temple on the outskirts of Beijing has embraced technology and debuted a robot monk in a bid to attract new followers to the faith.

The cartoon-like creation, dubbed Xian’er, wears a yellow robe and has a shaved head, and can recite mantras and answer 20 simple questions about Buddhism and the daily lifestyle at the Lonquan temple from an attached screen.

Developed from a as a joint project between a technology company and artificial intelligence (AI) experts from some of the top universities in China, the bot signals a new era for Buddhism in contemporary culture.

The 60cm-tall robot is already making its mark and has become a hit in Chinese social media platform Weibo, amassing more than 300,000 followers on the Chinese micro-blogging site, according to the International Business Times UK. – AFP Relaxnews

Robot Xian'er sits next to Master Xianfan at  the Longquan Buddhist temple on the outskirts of Beijing, April 20, 2016.  Photo: Reuters

Robot Xian’er sits next to Master Xianfan at the Longquan Buddhist temple on the outskirts of Beijing, April 20, 2016. Photo: Reuters