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 "MyKeepon," through February 1. Unleash your inner child...
Once a month we hold our live video chat with the Shapeways community.
That moment is happening now.
Join us at shapeways.com/community/live