SoftBank Group Corp.'s humanoid robot Pepper has taken on various roles since its mass-market debut in 2015.

The 1.2-meter tall robots with round white heads have been deployed to banks, sushi shops and nursing homes. Now, Pepper will don a Buddhist monk's robe.

Kanagawa-based Nissei Eco Co. will offer Pepper — billed as the world's first robot that can read emotions — to chant Buddhist sutras at funerals, providing a cheaper alternative to human priests.