picture of the day

Guten Tag

11 Comments

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, watches Honda Motor Co's interactive robot Asimo during a visit to Miraikan (National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation) in Tokyo on Monday. With Merkel is Miraikan Director and former astronaut Mamoru Mori. Merkel is making a two-day visit to Japan as part of a series of bilateral meetings with G-7 leaders ahead of a June summit in Germany.

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11 Comments
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Awesome picture! Her expression says it all!

"This is what you've been up to since we last met in WWII?"

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

The caption's "Guten Tag" but it spoke only English to her.

Bit of a missed opportunity....

0 ( +2 / -2 )

This preoccupation with the shallow end of robotic technology is really getting stale. Its got to the point that one or other of these lightweight bolt-boxes is certain to make an appearance at any public occasion. If the occasion involves a foreign head of state, the odds are double. As I have said previously, it is this sort of thinking that got Japan in trouble after the nuclear accident in Fukushima. What was required then was some heavy duty disaster-response robots, not AIBO and not ASIMO. Seriously, has Japan's technical innovation stalled to the point that ASIMO is still seen as the leading-edge. He/She/It should be on a pension not meeting VIPs. If Japan really wants to turn the head of foreign heads of state, what about showcasing some of the remarkable advances in robotic assistance suits (which are making paraplegics walk), or some of the leading-edge materials (such as the new human-organ monitoring adhesive)? Surely there has to be something more advanced than ASIMO?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Asimo wearing LL size slippers like most of the patients in Japanese clinics (!)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Japan's obsession with humanoid robots is very quaint. In an age of self-driving cars and drones they're painting cute faces on toys and calling them robot astronauts. Good photo op I suppose, but come on its been done to death already.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Now I know how Japan developed it's myth of being high-tech; every time a world leader visits they take them to see robots to perpetuate the myth. Japan has conducted similar propaganda since the war. They have a particular image they want to convey of a false image of a peaceful, safe, high-tech nation.

0 ( +4 / -2 )

Does she have a back problem? I always see her hunched over and wringing her hands like an evil villain.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You should watch the video of this meeting between Merkel and Asimo. She looks like she can't believe she's spending time watching this robot thing kick a soccer ball and run in circles.

At the end she simply just says, "Good." Then she walks off.

I mean, come on! She speaks English but she's from Germany! You can't program Asimo to say a simple greeting the guest's native language!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Merkel seems to be a serious person who came to lay down pre-summit foundations, offer opinion and advice - whether we agree or not - and, well, offer the show of a good host, again pre-summit.

And she is met with kutsy-crap.

Sigh.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Merkel meant well. In `1970's Germany was busy regretting WW II and Japan Inc. increased Japan Inc products in Germany, This time, Merkel came to advice Japan to look back WW II. She must be shocked that Japanese Honda Robot greeted her instead of Japan listening her recommendation to go back to WW II era memory.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I like the humanoid robots. Since Japan has pinned its survival on them, it is nice to see if they are making any progress. Still waiting, though.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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