A tiny robot greets Obama

A tiny robot greets Obama

Apr 25, 2014

If you're a fan of the Scott Pilgrim books by Bryan Lee O'Malley, you may recall one character says (and we're paraphrasing slightly here) 'a tiny robot is kicking Scott's ass, if anyone wants to watch'. Only slightly less far-fetched is the line 'a tiny robot is meeting the President of the United States of America, if anyone wants to watch' - but that's precisely what happened this week.

ASIMO (an acronym for Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility) is a hugely advanced robot, revealed to the world in the year 2000 by Japanese carmaker Honda. Although it is somewhat diminutive, at just 4ft 3in (130cm) tall.

It has met a number of foreign VIPs in its life but this was its first meeting with a serving President, as Barack Obama came face to face with the humanoid creation at Miraikan, otherwise known as the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, in Tokyo.

ASIMO broke the ice with the line: "Mr President, I am ASIMO, a humanoid robot. It is a pleasure to meet you."

ASIMO and the President then played a bit of football (or 'soccer', perhaps) with each other, before it showed off some of its signature moves, such as running and jumping.

It also told Mr Obama: "I keep training every day so that someday in the future, I can help people in their homes."

Which, and you'll forgive us for seeming like we're too influenced by pop culture here, is infinitely preferable to: "I keep training every day so that one day me and my android kin can eradicate the human race in a bloody, robotic coup for total domination of Planet Earth."

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