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American president Barack Obama playing soccer with a Japanese robot ASIMO

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As part of his four-nation Asia tour, President Obama has visited students at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Tokyo where he was welcomed by a humanoid robot.

Honda’s Asimo robot demonstrated its running and football skills, fielding a powerful kick and then celebrating by hopping on one leg.

The president appeared bemused and later told the students he had found it slightly unnerving.

ASIMO, which stands for Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility, took a bow and then passed a soccer ball to the President, who said the robot’s soccer skills were “pretty impressive”.

Honda has been working on its humanoid robot for nearly 14 years now, and it improved in leaps and bounds since it was first introduced in October 2000. It can now walk up a flight to steps, pour a cup of juice (and serve it), run, recognize faces and talk.

 

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