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PhD Builds Dog-bots for the White House Christmas

Information Science PhD student Stephanie Santoso is a senior advisor with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, where her work is focused on generating support for the Maker movement both within the US Government and in the private sector. In her article on the digital aspects of the White House Christmas decorations this year, Juliet Eilperin notes that the Maker movement is "a high-tech, DIY philosophy that President Obama and his aides have embraced enthusiastically. It wraps into a neat package many of the attributes the administration has sought to champion: innovation, manufacturing, entre­pre­neur­ship and hipster geekiness."

Not all the work is focused on policy, however. Stephanie got to help build robotic versions of Sunny and Bo, the first family's dogs, for the White House Christmas decorations this year. While many White House traditions carry over, year after year, there is also room for showcasing new technologies and reflecting the current culture. 

See more about the digital White House decorations in this Washington Post piece.