Obama Tickles Giant Robotic Giraffe at White House

Jun 18, 2014 1:10pm

ABC News’ Arlette Saenz and Daniel Litke report:

President Obama encountered an unlikely character on the White House South Lawn this morning: a 17-foot-tall, 2,200-pound robotic giraffe named Russell.

At one point, the president reached out and touched the giraffe underneath its chin, prompting a giggle from the robotic animal, who runs his own artificial intelligence program.

“Hehe, that tickles,” Russell, whose horns are made of silver glittery lava lamps, said with a British accent.

Lindsay Lawlor, the owner and creator of the giraffe, said people can ride the giant robotic creature, which is powered by a 12-horsepower, hybrid fuel-engine motor.

“The Secret Service may not let us do that,” Obama said.

Russell was one of 30 exhibits at the first-ever White House Maker Faire, an event featuring student and entrepreneurial projects in the White House’s latest push to highlight the potential of the manufacturing sector in the United States.

Other projects featured at the event include a banana piano and PancakeBot, a device that prints 3-D pancakes.

The White House is streaming the Maker Faire on its website and even features a “Giraffe Cam” during intermission.


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(Photo Credit: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

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