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.
Given our obsession with the toy, we wanted to give the Shapeways community an opportunity to win a My Keepon for your own late night jam sessions. So we've teamed up with the creators for what we are dubbing "The Shapeways My Keepon Challenge."
Design an accessory for My Keepon (anything goes so long as we can print it!) and the winner with the most creatively awesome add-on will win a My Keepon, a print of his or her accessory, and a $50 Shapeways gift certificate.
A joint team of BeatBots, Wow! Stuff, and Shapeways will be judging the entries. From the My Keepon team, we're excited to have as judges Dr. Marek Michalowski and Dr. Hideki Kozima of BeatBots (second and third from left in the picture below); and Dr. Graeme Taylor and Richard North of Wow! Stuff (first and fourth from left).
We're accepting entries, which must be tagged "My Keepon," through February 1. Read on for all the fine print.
As our Product Manager Nancy pointed out, it's perhaps more interesting to watch people interacting with robots than it is to watch the robot itself (or so says the researchers at MIT Media Lab). So whether you're keen on designing a hat, sunglasses, a necklace, or a tool-belt, we're open! Unleash your inner child...
THE FINE PRINT
Up to 3 entrants per person. Design must be an accessory, which is open to interpretation but subject to our Terms and Conditions.
To be considered for the competition, please tag your uploads as "MyKeepon" and indicate the intended material. All materials are welcome.
Entries will be accepted December 20, 2011 through February 1, 2012 at 11:59pm EST. Winners will be announced in February 2012.
My Keepon is approximately 120mm tall (but hey, he's squishy!). The head and belly of My Keepon are spheres of diameter 80mm, so for hats, the My Keepon team recommends that the circle touching the head should be of diameter 70-75mm if you would like it to stay on mid-dance party. The eyes are 40mm apart. The waist diameter is 60mm.