President Barack Obama meets with Lindsay Lawlor, of San Diego, Calif., and his creation, a 17-foot-tall, 2,200-lb robotic giraffe on the South Lawn of the White House on June 18, 2014.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

There’s a giant robot giraffe on the White House lawn right now


Move over, Bo. A giant robotic giraffe is currently top dog on the White House lawn.

The giraffe, which moves, talks and lights up, is just one exhibit at the White House’s first-ever Maker Fair, an event where innovators can show off the latest in technology and design. The fair saw the introduction of everything from a 3D-printed violin to a biodiesel car.

But the biggest hit was Russell, the robot giraffe.

“I like those ears,” President Obama said of the 17-foot-tall robot, which sports lava lamp ears and a head-mounted “giraffe cam.” 

The White House hopes inventions like Russell can inspire a new generation of creators. “Making can inspire and empower more young people to excel in design and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and to pursue careers making things in manufacturing,” the White House said in a statement announcing the fair in February. 

Don’t expect the giraffe to join the presidential motorcade any time soon, though. When offered a ride on the robot, Obama politely declined. “The Secret Service would not let us do that,” the president told reporters.

Technology and White House

There's a giant robot giraffe on the White House lawn right now