HRP-2 humanoid robot learns to use obstacles to its advantage

There may be plenty of robots out there able to avoid or overcome obstacles, but we can't say we've seen too many that are actually able to use obstacles to their advantage. That's the claim to fame of this so-called HRP-2 robot built by researchers at Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, however, which is able to detect objects around it and discern how they can be used to help it with a specific task -- like leaning on a table to help balance while kicking a ball, for instance. As New Scientist points out, whether intentional or not, the end result is a robot that behaves remarkably like an elderly person -- see for yourself in the video after the break.