A church in Germany has built a robot priest to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.
The bot, a creation of the Evangelical Church in Hesse and Nassau and engineer Alexander Wiedekind-Klein, is able to deliver blessings to visitors in both male and female voices.
They've named their intelligent design the "BlessU-2" (such a disappointing name, might we at El Reg suggest: "Martin LuthOS," "The Vicar of Dolby" or "St Francis of ASCII" as alternatives).
Along with providing Reg staff material for endless puns (our favorites include "blessed are the L337," "HAL-9000 be thy name," and "thy pingdom come, thy subroutine be done, on Earth as it is in firmware"), the robot seeks to ask some basic questions about the future of Christianity and the role technology could play.
The bless-bot is part of a larger installation called the Church of Light. The installation, which will run during the World Reformation Expo in Wittenberg from May 20th to September 10th, features a church built from wood, plexiglass, and LEDs designed to be as bright and colorful as possible.
"The church – one-of-a-kind in the world – not only symbolizes the mobility and the colorfulness of faith, but at the same time serves as a place for encountering God and meeting people from all over the world," the group says.
"The church provides a doorway into contemporary spirituality, as well as functioning as a unique venue for special events."
In addition to the robot pastor, the group says the church will house other music and prayer services. ®