President Barack Obama, visiting Japan, watched in amazement as a small robot ran across the floor and then played soccer with him Thursday at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Tokyo.
The 4-foot-tall, 119-pound robot called Asimo impressed Obama, who said, “He’s movin’,” as the machine ran across the room.
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ASIMO, which stands for Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility, was built by Honda.
The museum visit emphasized Japan’s technological advances, and many things on display showed the relationship between the U.S. and Japan as they have worked together on projects over the years. They renewed a 10-year scientific collaboration, The Washington Post said.
Even though Obama laughed at the robot’s antics, he told gathered children later that he was a little intimidated by the human-looking Asimo.
"I have to say that the robots were a little scary, they were too lifelike," the president said, according to the Post. "They were amazing."
Obama told the students that technology has helped the world understand the planet and be prepared for challenges.
“Whether it’s: How do we feed more people in an environment in which it’s getting warmer? How do we make sure that we’re coming up with new energy sources that are less polluting and can save our environment? To the robots that we saw that can save people’s lives after a disaster because they can go into places like Fukushima that it may be very dangerous for live human beings to enter into. These are all applications, but it starts with the imaginations and the vision of young people like you."
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