Obama: Japanese robots 'a little scary'

Thursday, April 24, 2014 - 12:47pm

TOKYO (CNN) -- President Barack Obama has some new high tech friends

The President played soccer Thursday with a Japanese robot during a stop at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, or Mirikan. The visit was aimed at highlighting the renewal of a 10 year scientific collaboration between the two countries, and to show off Japan's latest technologies.

While there Obama was introduced to two robots. One of them, Honda's humanoid robot, is about the height of a 10 year old child and was wearing an astronaut suit.

"It's nice to meet you," the robot said in a metallic voice to Obama. The robot performed a series of exercises and then walked to a soccer ball and told the President "I can kick a soccer ball too."

"Okay, come on," Obama replied.

The robot then kicked to ball to the President, who trapped it with his feet.

"That was pretty impressive," remarked Obama.

Following the demonstration, the President told an audience of some 30 students that "We saw some truly amazing robots -- although I have to say the robots were a little scary. They were too lifelike. They were amazing. And these students showed me some of their experiments, including some soccer-playing robots that we just saw."

After leaving the science museum, the President visited Meiji Shrine, which is dedicated to a past emperor of Japan. After the tour, the President and U.S. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy watched a show of horseback riders shooting bows and arrows as they rode in front of the President. The event provided a stark contrast a contrast from the robots.

-- CNN White House Supervising Producer Laura Bernardini and CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

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