Obama Asia Tour: US President meets Asimo the robot in Japan

The apprehensive President said the humanoid robot was "too life-like"

Click to follow
The Independent Online

In his six years as President of the United States, Barack Obama has met more world leaders and luminaries than most people could dream of.

Now, following a tour of the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Japan on Thursday, Mr Obama can check meeting a humanoid robot off his Presidential bucket list.

"Welcome to Miraikan, Mr President, it is a pleasure to meet you," said Honda-made robot Asmio as he met the US President.

"It's nice to meet you, too," Mr Obama replied.

Footage of the meeting shows the 55-inch tall robot boast to the President: "I can really run fast“ before loping toward a football and adding: ”I can kick a soccer ball, too."

The robot delivered a well-aimed ball at Obama who trapped it neatly with his foot.

For its final demonstration, the robot declared, "Recently I have learned how to jump," and then hopped, first on one foot, then on two.

Curious, Mr Obama chief executive director of Miraikan, asked Mamoru Mohri, whether the robot was remote controlled.

Yes, Mohri replied, but the robot can act autonomously, too.

Obama also witnessed demonstrations by other robots, including one designed by Japanese technicians and partially financed by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency that was developed to help with disaster response.

"I have to say the robots were a little scary," he said afterwards. "They were too life-like.“

Additional reporting by AP