Updated: 04/24/2014 18:02 | By Agence France-Presse

Obama gets a kick out of footballing robot

Barack Obama Thursday came face to face with Japan's newest sporting phenomenon -- an eerily realistic humanoid robot which can run, jump and enjoy a kickaround with the president of the United States.


Obama gets a kick out of footballing robot

US President Barack Obama (2nd L) bows to Honda's humanoid robot ASIMO as he tours the Miraikan Science Expo in Tokyo on April 24, 2014 - by Jim Watson

The US leader marvelled at ASIMO, a robot developed by Honda, as he highlighted Japanese technology and the potential for joint projects with US universities and firms on the first full day of his Asian tour. 

He encountered ASIMO, a robot which is about the size of a 10-year-old child in an astronaut suit, as he toured the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Tokyo.

"It's nice to meet you," the robot cheerily hailed Obama, prompting the amused president to reply "It's nice to meet you too." 

ASIMO then went through its paces for the president, showing off its realistic but somewhat spooky range of movements, before telling the US leader in its metallic voice: "I can kick a soccer ball too."

"OK, come on then," Obama said, bracing for a pass as the robot backed off to line up his shot before coming in and delivering a sharp kick, sending the ball towards Obama. He deftly controlled it with a shiny dress shoe.

"How about that? That was pretty impressive," Obama said, before the robot showed off its newest trick -- jumping around the room. 

Moments later, talking to students, Obama admitted: "I have to say the robots were a little scary, they were too lifelike." 

ASIMO is the latest prototype in a 20-year project by Honda to develop a humanoid robot that can be used as an aid for elderly people or to perform tasks hazardous to humans, like fighting fires or cleaning toxic spills.

According to the Honda website, the robot, controlled by a laptop computer over a wireless network, can climb stairs and grasp objects and is the first such machine that can actually run like a human.

Latest Photo Galleries on xinmsn

NEWS VIDEOS

MORE NEWS VIDEOS

facebook recommendations

LIVE NEWS RADIO STREAMING

  • 938 Live

    938LIVE is Singapore's only English news and talk station which transmits round the clock with an engaging and enticing spread of programmes on current affairs, health, business and lifestyle as well as news every half hour until midnight.

  • Capital 958


    95.8FM城市频道的前身是"第三广播网"。上个世纪30年代末,新加坡就有中文广播,一路走来经过不少政治,社会局势的改变,中文广播在本地一直扮演举足轻重的角色。