The Electric Giraffe Project
25th April, 2015 by

Well, hello everyone!  It’s been far too long since I (Lindsay) posted here on our website.  But, as you may have heard, things got pretty hectic in 2014 after the Maker Faire in San Mateo.  When I got home, there was an email from the White House, and long story, a VERY long story short, we ended up on the White House Lawn with the President of the United States petting our Electric Giraffe.

And I say “our” because this project is drawing in lots of people around it.  From one time helpers to people consistently being around to help work on him, I find myself saying “our project” and “we are working on” quite a lot.  And so I want to thank everyone who’s ever turned a bolt, welded a piece, soldered a connection, or wrote code and designs for this machine, for getting “us” to the White House lawn, something I could have never imagined when I started this project in late 2004.

To Louise, Sherry and Dale and everyone else at Maker Media and my good friend Alan Murphy of Murphy Surplus in San Diego, I thank you so very much!  That Giraffe would never have made it without your huge efforts to get him across the country on such short notice.

But most of all, I want to thank my friend and programmer, Russell Pinnington.  As of this writing, I fully acknowledge his part ownership of this project, from the massive efforts he’s made in both writing the code for his operation, and in taking his own personal time to fly out here once a year to be here for the Maker Faire in San Mateo.  Without Russell, we would not have “Russell” the giraffe, speaking to everyone who pets him, including, most surprisingly of all, President Barack Obama, in his own back yard.  Russell has been amazing in his abilities and I cannot ever thank him enough for what he’s put into this project, one that is still on its way to becoming even more of a “Techno-beast” than we ever imagined.  Yes, the “Rave-Raffe” has come a _long_ way indeed.

In the meantime, please feel free to search out the net for items related to “Obama Giraffe”.  From Google Images to Youtube, you’ll find some pretty humorous stuff including the giraffe being dissed by a well known political dissident with his own talk show.  When I saw that, I simply smiled, and one good friend of mine summed it up perfectly.  “You sir, have arrived!”

Yes, we did.


Russell, and Russell, and I, on the White House grounds, June 18th, 2014.

24th May, 2014 by

After months of preparations and changes/mods/additions to the Electric Giraffe, we’re here at Maker Fair! Russell himself has flown out from the UK and we had a great time rebuilding all new LED driven spots for the Giraffe! I would like to thank Phillip Burgess for his support/advice in setting up the Neopixel LED network. I would also like to thank Maker Place in San Diego for their complimentary laser cutting work on the giraffe’s hexagon spots. We’re going to look better than ever in the dark room as a result!  Here is mister raffe himself in my driveway, on his first new LED spot test.   The colors and sheer brightness were beyond what we expected, and we cannot wait to show him off at the faire!



23rd March, 2014 by

Hello everyone!

I’ve been a little silent here, mostly because I post to my page on facebook. You can find me there as “Electric Giraffe” on an artist page.

SO…what have I been up to? Well, 2014 started off with a bang in xmass 2013, with me showing up at a huge candy cane lane out where I live, wearing all my xmass lights and reindeer antlers! That was such a fun gig, watching the kids completely lose it when they saw a 1 ton reindeer walk into their neighborhood!

And just prior to that, I appeared at the first ever San Diego Maker Faire! It was at the Del Mar Fair Grounds and I so hope this event will transform into a full blown Maker Faire for the San Diego area! We deserve it! The organization can be found at Please check them out and get involved!

Since then I’ve appeared in several locations recently:

Maker Place, with Brian Salmon having me show up and play music for their open house events. Maker Place is where Lindsay is making me new hexagon Giraffe Spots with their laser cutter.

Washington Middle School where I hung out with their robotics class for an evening.

The Aerospace Museum in Balboa Park! Imagine, me, the Robot Giraffe, in Lindsay’s personal place of worship! After all the years he’s spent in there as a kid, to have me, something he built, featured inside the very same museum! That was a fun day, that will likely lead to something more with the City of San Diego. News to come!

Fox 5 news: I did their morning news show! Take a look here for a fun news segment!

Plus other appearances at more schools to support their robotics programs.

Maker Faire is also talking about sending me to New York and possibly London! Please wish me luck in getting there!

25th May, 2012 by

Hi there!

We managed to make it to Maker Faire 2012 and have a great time. I was almost destroyed on the road when my trailer became unhitched from the car, and what followed was a lot of crashing about and swaying until we got to the side of the road. A very close call for me indeed!

Once at Maker Faire, we were on the news again, and had lots of fun with all the people there, selling shirts and models and having a wonderful time.

But what really took me by suprise was when a representative from the Tech Museum of San Jose stopped by, and informed me that I was one of the top exhibits ever seen at the faire, and that I was being invited to be installed at the museum for a month long exhibit! Wow, what a wonderful compliment!

And with Maker Faire out of the way, my summer schedule is more busy than ever before! Here is where I will be.

Monday, May 28th at 10am. “Memorial day parade” in Kensington.

Saturday, June 2nd at 2pm. “Art Around Adams Ave.” (An artwalk on the streets of Adams. Ave. Will be at the carwash since that gives me space to walk around!)

Saturday, June 16th at 8pm to midnight. “Feast of Hammer’s Ball” at Queen Bees art and performances studio, a Steam Punk oriented event.

Friday, June 22nd thru June 24th. “Elysium Festival” A Burning Man inspired event for the local San Diego Burner’s crowd. This will be a MAJOR event and I strongly suggest you attend if you can!

Saturday June 30th to Wed. July 4th. “Del Mar Fair” See the giraffe at the famous Del Mar Fairgrounds. We’ll be out in the carnival ride area in the horse race arena.

After that, we’ll be taking a break and hoping to get ready for heading back up to San Jose for a stay at the Tech Museum. Wish me luck!

15th December, 2011 by

Hello there! With the approach of 2012, I thought it best I wake up here and give you some updates! I have remained good and active, with many appearances and modifications!

In 2009 my owner started house hunting, and has since landed a huge house, a massive garage, and lots of land out in the country for me to dwell in! The garage is so big that I can walk right in. No more sitting outside and hoping the weather won’t get me wet or rusty! But with all these goings on he forgot about my need to talk to folks here in my Journal!

So, what has been happening with me? Here’s some updates.

2009: We managed to do the Maker Faire once more, and as usual, had a total blast. I cannot say how much I love attending the Make Faire! Russell Pinnington, my programmer, came out from England once again to accompany Lindsay and myself to the faire.

I also entered the Ocean Beach Christmas Parade, the largest parade in all of San Diego, and had a lovely time showing off my new lights and paint job to everyone, plus I was dressed as Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer! With my new sound system blaring xmass music for everyone, we once again took the parade by storm, the crowd was overwhelmed and cheered very loudly as I walked down the same streets that Lindsay once roamed as a child. Afterwards we received a 1st Place, Best in Show award once again for best individual entry! This was the second 1st place award I got, the first one being 2007, when I was still all white and had not been given my major overhaul. So, I was now 2 for 2! Could I get 3 for 3?

2010: Lindsay was by now looking very hard for a his very first house to ever own on his own!

We once again attended the Maker Faire that year, and had a wonderful time, showing off more technology and advancements. I was able to now move my jaw to talk, and I had a new neck gimbal, that allowed me to look around in all 3 axis of movement! People were amazed as I actually looked at them as I spoke! Also, I was now able to auto-level my head, so that as my neck went up and down, I electronically knew where my head is, and can level it according to the neck attitude. As usual, a wonderful time was had by all, with Russell visiting once more to offer technical support and eat all of Lindsay’s food. >.>

The Make Faire also introduced a new format to the room we were in. Lights out! We were able to show off all of our lights very nicely, while a band with a roaring Tesla coil took the stage and thrilled everyone with a particularly unique brand of rock and roll music!

Then I was asked to appear at the prestigious Del Mar Fair Grounds, where I was allowed to walk around in the children’s area, letting kids pet me and be amazed at what appeared to be a carnival ride having escaped its moorings and was now running loose about the fairgrounds! I cannot say how fun that was for me and everyone I met!

By late 2010, Lindsay had finally managed to find a house to buy! Naturally I assumed he would take care of me, and indeed he did, finding a house with a huge garage and workshop, with which to build more exciting updates to add onto me, plus, some even LARGER robots that he is hinting at making!

2011: This has been a more quiet year for me, with Lindsay working hard to set up the house and the workshop with which to build new updates for myself and future robots he is planning. Already he has bought a TIG welder, and a computer controlled milling machine! From what I understand, I am to receive a fully articulated 7 segmented neck! When is not totally known, but we are hoping it will be ready for the 2012 Make Faire! Wish me luck!

In the meantime, we once again attended the Make Faire, just barely because of bad weather, but still had a wonderful time in the new dark room format that the Make Faire people have created, what I consider a brilliant move. It allows all of use really pretty “Night Time” oriented robots to show our stuff!

I have also been out to some school based robotic events, and very much enjoy attending those. Dave Masey has been instrumental in booking outdoor appearances for me, so its starting to look like I have an actual agent working on my behalf! Thank you Dave!

And last but not least, I once again entered the Ocean Beach Christmas Parade, partly because the town council called Lindsay and asked him to bring me! Lindsay had once again hoped to attend, and by the skin of our teeth, we just made the long journey from Ramona, and got into Ocean Beach just in time to attend! My run down the street was without incident, and an old high school friend of Lindsay’s showed up to operate my new jaw and ability to look around with my head, and sing to the crowd! Thank you, Allen! So, walking and singing, we paraded down the streets of Ocean Beach, sending off 2011 with a very memorable appearance!

Shortly after, I was contacted by the parade council, and they have once again, voted me a 1st place award for best in show! That’s 3 for 3! What a perfect way to end 2011, with so much more to look for in 2012. Dave Masey has already booked another appearance for me at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in Feb. 2012. Thus, between appearances, and a new workshop Lindsay is creating to build new things for me, I have a lot to look forward to in the new year!

Wish me luck and I hope to see all of you again soon!
P.S. Lindsay will also be 12 in 2012, because he was born on leap year and only gets a birthday once every 4 years! Hope to see some of you at his party! 😀

17th April, 2009 by

Hello gang!

I’ll be at the Make Faire again this year. And you probably will barely recognize me, from all the changes I’ve been put through. I have a lovely golden orange paint job now, and 100% all new electronics and hydraulics!

Make faire checked in on me recently, and will do a follow up article once images of my new self are ready. Here’s the latest article about me!

Enjoy, and check back soon to see some amazing new images of what I’ve become!


27th October, 2008 by

Help! Eeek! My owner went crazy and tore me to pieces!

Well, this needed to be done, but, ZOMGWTFBBQ, I’m freaked out! I’m down to 25% complete! AIEEEE!!!

He’s assured me I’ll look better than ever, but for now I’m very nervous about my future and wondering what’s going to become of me! What follows is a series of images of my teardown, with my owner narrating. I just hope he knows what he’s doing!

Ouch Oook, Eeek ACK!!!

The maniac at work

18th September, 2008 by

There is an event I was going to sleep through, but the people begged me so politely that I just have to come out for one more event before my official rebuild begins. So, I’m all stiff and sleepy, but I’m going to show up at the Carlsbad Art Splash up in Carlsbad CA, near something called “The Flower Fields.”

So, hope to see anyone who’s watching and who can make it!



8th September, 2008 by

Hellooooo all.

Rave Rafe is still alive, just very sleepy while I sit in my giraffenhaus and await my reconstruction. Russell and Lindsay are hard at working building something they call “Noo Feechas” for me. I’m not totally sure what they are up to, but I think when I hit the streets again, I’m going to be an almost totally new giraffe, with more lighting and computer power than ever.

Stay tuned! Oh, and we’re working on the new website too. =:D



29th July, 2008 by

While I sit all torn to pieces and being put back together, I got Blogged by a nice fellow out in New York! Go check it out!

I hope someday I might be able to make it out that far and do some east coast stomping about.

In the meantime, I sleep, and dream of electric sheep.

(Psssst, go there and get the screen saver and see what I see while I dream)