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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A 33-foot-tall robot sculpture named Bebot is now standing tall in the City of Brotherly Love.
But Greenlees, her steelworker Andy Tibbetts of Lost Machine Design LLC, her 3-D artist Josh Haywood of Hylemo Ltd, and other crew members packed up the 13,000-pound art installation made of tubular steel where he’s now being featured on Germantown Avenue and 2nd Street in the Northern Liberties section of the city.
“My crew actually built Bebot twice, once in the extreme desert in temps exceeding 100 degrees and once in Philadelphia in the freezing cold,” said Greenlees in a phone interview with CBS Philly.
Bebot traveled across the country on three massive trucks and arrived here in Philly in December. Crews just started assembling the parts last week.
“He’s 33-feet tall. He’s smiling at you. He’s waving at you. People will automatically turn their heads,” Greenlees says.
Greenlees says calculated cuteness and emotional engineering was used in Bebot design.
“As humans we’re programmed to respond to cuteness in ways we can’t control. Cuteness actually does trigger in us a desire to approach the cute object and to engage with the cute object,” she says. “He’s really very, very sweet. He tugs at the heartstrings and people just can’t help but feel friendly and warm towards it. One arm reaches across the body to a beautiful hammered copper heart, signifying that Bebot has feelings, and one arm is raised waving in greeting, inviting visitors to approach. Like the Tin Man in ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ having a heart matters to Bebot,” says Greenlees.
But don’t be fooled when you see Bebot’s tail.
“Bebot’s little devil tail is intended to give us pause for thought. It suggests that he might not be quite as innocent,” says Greenlees.
You can find Bebot on Germantown Avenue near the Piazza. The official plans for Bebot in Philly or how long he will stay have not been revealed.
“It’s definitely my hope that Bebot will stay in Philadelphia. I want him to belong to Philadelphia. I’m very pleased and excited that he is there,” said Greenlees.