President Obama played soccer with a Japanese robot
TOKYO -- President Obama played soccer Thursday with a Japanese robot. Obama's visit to the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, or Mirikan, aimed to highlight both Japan's technological prowess and the renewal of a 10-year scientific collaboration agreement between the two countries. While the event had plenty of examples of how the two countries are working together -- including a pre-recorded message from the International Space Station's Japanese commander and two American flight engineers serving alongside him -- the real stars of the show were a couple of robots.
Honda's humanoid robot ASIMO, which was dressed in an astronaut suit and is about the height of a 10 year-old child, went through a series of exercises for the president (video).
"It's nice to meet you," it said in a metallic voice, before approaching a soccer ball and telling Obama, "I can kick a soccer ball too."
"Okay, come on," the president replied.
The robot then took a couple of steps back and then then ran up to the ball to deliver a hefty punt.
The president trapped the ball with his foot, later telling an audience of roughly 30 students he was slightly intimidated by ASIMO and the other robot he observed at the museum.
"I have to say that the robots were a little scary, they were too lifelike," Obama declared. "They were amazing."
Full story in The Washington Post.