Obama: Robot ‘Little Scary’ — With a Bow Heard Round the Web

President Barack Obama bows to Honda's humanoid robot ASIMO during the Miraikan Science Expo in Tokyo on April 24, 2014.

Photograph by Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Barack Obama bows to Honda’s humanoid robot ASIMO during the Miraikan Science Expo in Tokyo on April 24, 2014.

President Barack Obama’s critics jumped on him for what they viewed as too deferential a bow to the emperor when he visited Japan as a new president in 2009.

This time around, what would they say about his adoration of a robot?

Answer: It was the lead feature on The Drudge Report this morning, as the ever-ready to criticize Breitbart News bannered a headline:



A clearly captivated and somewhat apprehensive Obama met Asimo, Honda’s humanoid robot, at a science and technology expo today in Tokyo — and bowed twice to the diminutive, all-white-clad machine that addressed the president in English, jumped, ran and kicked a soccer ball to Obama.

The robot told Obama that it was nice to meet him.

“Well it’s nice to meet you too,” Obama replied.

He later told guests at the event that, while Asimo and other robots he saw were “truly amazing” and could save lives in disasters, he also was jarred by the experience.

“I have to say the robots were a little scary. They were too lifelike.”

Later in the day, the president participated in a far more traditional visit, to the Meiji shrine, to hang a prayer plaque and watch the tradition of archers on horseback in elaborate kimonos. With Obama promoting women’s integration into traditional male roles in Japan, he applauded with delight when one of the archers, a woman, made all three of her targets.

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