Obama Meets Latest in Japanese Robotics

U.S. President Barack Obama recently attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, which took place in Yokohama, Japan. He met not only heads of state and world leaders but also several Japanese robots.

Before walking into a meeting, Obama was greeted by HRP-4C, a female humanoid robot created at Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, or AIST. The android talked and gestured enthusiastically, restrained from showing off its dance moves though.

Next in line to meet up with the U.S. president was, the robotic baby seal Paro, also invented at AIST. Dr. Takanori Shibata, the creator of Paro, told the president that the robot served in hospitals as a therapy device. All in good spirit, Obama gave the squealing creature a good caress.

Then it was time for a ride on what appears to be the latest version of Toyota's i-REAL personal mobility vehicle. Turned out it wasn't much of a ride. Obama drove an inch forward, but when the machine suddenly tilted back the president almost jumped out of it, "that's what we're going to be driving," he joked.


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