Watch President Barack Obama Take On a Japanese Robot in Soccer (Video)

Barack Obama Plays Soccer with a Robot

Barack Obama‘s legacy as a president may still be very much up in the air, but let it be known that he never backed down from a soccer contest against a Japanese robot. I guess, technically, any other president could say that, too, but Barack Obama is the only one to put his money where his mouth is in that regard.

In the interest of full disclosure, the robot isn’t even designed to play soccer. It just happens to know how to (very poorly) kick a ball.

Obama was over in Tokyo visiting the Mirikan, a national science museum, when he came across the robot, and because he’s the president, he had to indulge the press by interacting with the machine, eventually trapping a kicked ball from the robot. A good photo op, yes, but not the stuff World Cups are made out of.

Take a look at the fleet-footed showdown between man and machine:

The fact that Japan made the robot is a double-edged sword. Japan has a very strong robotics legacy, but stands less tall in the world of soccer. Which begs the question: Would President Obama rather face a highly-designed Japanese robot that may be lacking in advanced soccer knowledge and pedigree, or some Brazilian robot that’s cobbled together with duct tape and cardboard, but displays far more proficient footwork and flair?

Only a Robotics World Cup can answer that question definitively.


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