Keepon is a social robot that interacts with people and dances when music is playing. It's used to engage with children in autism research. A toy version, My Keepon, is designed for general audiences.
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Did You Know?
Some of the proceeds from My Keepon sales will go towards furthering autism research.
Keepon appeared live on NBC's "Today Show" in 2009 in a segment on robots used in autism therapy.
- Keepon Pro: Equipped with camera, touch sensors, and autonomous and teleoperation modes. My Keepon: Touch sensors and autonomous mode.
- 27.5 cm | 10.8 in (including base)
- N/A cm | N/A in
- 11.5 cm | 4.5 in
- 1.5 kg | 3.3 lb (Keepon Pro); 1 kg | 2.2 lb (My Keepon)
- N/A km/h | N/A mph
- Keepon Pro: Cameras (in the eyes) and microphone (nose). My Keepon: Array of touch sensors (body) and microphone (nose).
- Keepon Pro: Four DC motors with gearing and encoders. My Keepon: Three toy-grade DC motors
- Keepon Pro: 12-V DC power. My Keepon: 8 AA batteries.
- Keepon Pro: On-board microcontrollers for low-level motor control and an external computer for high-level behavioral control. My Keepon: On-board microcontrollers.
- Keepon Pro: Custom software, written in C and Max. My Keepon: custom audio processing and behavioral state machine.
- DEGREES OF FREEDOM (DOF)
- 4 (pan, tilt, lean, and bounce); In My Keepon, the last two are coupled on a single motor.
- Keepon Pro: Custom-machined aluminum and silicone rubber skin. My Keepon: Injection-molded plastic and elastomer skin.
- $30,000 Keepon Pro; $40 My Keepon (launch price; current price may vary)
Keepon was created by robotics researchers Hideki Kozima and Marek Michalowski, who founded BeatBots in 2007. One of the goals was to develop a robot for autism research: The robot would be teleoperated in a playroom by therapists at a remote computer, letting them engage with children in the guise of a simpler body. Keepon (the research model is known as Keepon Pro) has gone through four mechanical design revisions over the years. In 2011, BeatBots and toy maker Wow! Stuff made Keepon available to the mass market as My Keepon, a toy version that responds to touch and dances to music.