Japanese Robot Shows Up Obama At Soccer

Among his stops during his visit to Japan, President Obama met up with a soccer playing robot:

During his visit to Japan, at the Tokyo Miraikan Science Expo, President Barack Obama had a brief encounter with Honda’s humanoid robot ASIMO, The Wall Street Journal reports.

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”.

Though he seemingly enjoyed a little chat (in English) with ASIMO, Obama later said the androids at the Expo were a bit “too lifelike” and “a little scary” for his taste.

I’m pretty sure this is how the Cylons got started.

Here’s the video:

FILED UNDER: Science & Technology, , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Franklin says:

    Hmm, I was going to say that Obama’s lack of soccer skills finally proved he was American. But he actually didn’t seem to have much trouble stopping the bouncing pass, so I guess the jury is still out …

  2. stonetools says:

    So Obama as a black man, doesn’t have natural skill and talent in all sports?
    Maybe that’s the fault of his mother’s side…

    Funny, none of the robot dystopias I read had robots taking over sports…

  3. beth says:

    That’s one creepy robot. If I was a Secret Service agent, I would have shot it, especially when it started jumping up and down.

    By the way, what’s with the “shows up Obama” headline? Seems like he handled that pass pretty well. Is there anything he does that you don’t hate?

  4. Tillman says:

    I’m pretty sure this is how the Cylons got started.

    God, you are such a nerd.

  5. David in KC says:

    @Tillman: Don’t be a nerdist. Yes, I’m playing the nerd card.

  6. Tillman says:

    @David in KC: What am I supposed to think?! First the economics of Death Stars, then “the Death Star was an inside job!”, then Captain Picard and Gandalf get football sorta right…now Cylons?

    And you can claim any of those is well-established in the realm of popular culture, and sure, Doug doesn’t pepper his posts with oblique references to dilithium crystals and midi-chlorians, but he made that Battlestar Galactica reference unnecessarily and, above all, with familiarity.

    Damn it, it won’t stand up in a court of law, but it’s plain to see!

  7. David in KC says:

    @Tillman: Lol.

  8. Grewgills says:

    No real nerd or geek accepts the midichlorian heresy.

  9. Matt Bernius says:


    For the record, I think the midichlorian thing *could* have worked. But if (and only if) the story had unfolded that as a result of the Empire, all knowledge of the Jedi’s “technology” would have been utterly wipe out. The idea that they had been advanced techno-knights, but now were treated as mystics because society had moved so far backwards. Essentially a Canticle for Leibowitz scenario — the rise of the Empire threw the galaxy back into the Dark Ages.

    But the timeline just doesn’t work for that. Nor is there any attempt to suggest that beyond killing almost all the Jedi, the Empire did anything to eliminate that knowledge. And of course it also ignores the fact that Obi-Wan and Yoda both knew about the midichlorian thing.

    Like I said, could of worked but didn’t. At all. Like most aspects of the prequels. When it comes down to it, what we learn from the first three movies was that the Empire could barely hold things together for 20 years (which, I guess, makes sense considering they were taken down by an handful of scrappy troublemakers and midget wookies), and that all Darth Vader actually could do effectively was kill kids. When it came to facing adult Jedi, the only way he got things done was by stabbing them in the back.

  10. Grewgills says:

    @Matt Bernius:
    Trying to compress the rise and fall of the empire into 20 years or so was about as big a mistake as Lucas writing dialog.

  11. Matt Bernius says:

    * This *
    Though I’d also include post-Episode-3 Lucas directing on that list.

    And really, the issue wasn’t so much Lucas writing, as that clearly no one surrounding Lucas was willing to give him any real critical feedback. The prequels happened because people let them happen.