India’s Fascinating Fortune-Telling Robots

Indians have long since been passionate about predicting the future. Horoscopes are created with the help of an astrologer on the very day a child is born and these documents are consulted from time to time during major milestones of a person’s life. Especially when a match is made as a part of an arranged marriage, an astrologer is duly consulted to make sure the horoscopes of the bride and groom are compatible with each other.

While all this may seem very strange to an outsider, for Indians it’s a part of normal and natural life. In fact , progress in terms of fortune-telling technology has been made too. In several homes, local astrologers have been replaced by computer software that serves the same purpose. One simply needs to enter their name and time/date of birth to receive a complete report of their past, present and future.

Photo by Jitendra Prakash / Reuters

At fairs, festivals and even parks, it is common to find astrologers who read palms and have parrots that predict the future. Of course, several of them could be charlatans. Interestingly, technology seems to be taking over here too – with robots replacing the parrots. These robot fortune tellers are painted in bright colors and come in various shapes and sizes. The most popular design has flashing LED lights and an analog clock display on the front. Apparently, these creations serve the dual purpose of telling time as well as the future!

Photo by Paul Keller

Should you choose to have your fortune revealed to you by one of these robots, all you need is a mere 5 Rupees (that’s less than a Dollar). In exchange for this small token, the robot’s guardian will allow you to put on a pair of headphones connected to its underpants and listen to a pre-recorded message of the future. Unfortunately, the messages aren’t available in English, but only in Indian languages – Hindi, Tamil, Kannada and Telugu.

Photo by Paul Keller

It seems there’s a robot predicting fortunes right here in Bangalore, every Sunday opposite the ever-popular Russell market. Now you know where I’m off to this weekend!

via Discover Magazine