For those of you not familiar with the squishy yellow robotic wonder called My Keepon, brace yourselves. We just got one in the NYC office last week and have fully regressed into childhood glee. The robotic toy, which responds to touch or music, is a lovable, awe-inspiring dancing machine. And its size and demeanor make it perfect for photo shoots and late night digressions (e.g., our music video below).
We're even more smitten by My Keepon because of its fascinating history: the toy, which hit stores this October, is based on Keepon Pro, a research robot created by Dr. Hideki Kozima and Dr. Marek Michalowski of BeatBots. They have been using Keepon Pro in playrooms to study social development and autism. Just as Shapeways' goal is to make high-end 3D printing accessible to all, BeatBots wanted to make the Keepon character and technology more widely available to fans while advancing the use of research robots in therapeutic settings. So they partnered with toymaker Wow! Stuff to make this incredible, inspiring technology accessible to kids of all ages (including those in their 20s and 30s) in the form of the My Keepon toy. Meanwhile, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of each toy is going to be used to distribute Keepon Pro robots to researchers and practitioners around the world.