Robots.Video: Keepon the Uncanny Dancing Robot

Posted 30 Dec 2007 at 19:40 UTC by steve Share This

Keepon is a little yellow robot who excels at only one thing: dancing. The robot is being used by CMU researcher Marek Michalowski to "identify visual and other sensory rhythms, helping to prove how rhythm and synchronization in body language are paramount in human interaction". The robot has already become a YouTube sensation with many viewers commenting that Keepon dances better than they can. The little yellow robot was designed by Japanese roboticist, Hideki Kozima. Only a few prototypes exist right now but fans of Keepon hope to buy their own little yellow robot to dance on their desktops someday. For more see the recent Post-Gazette article about Keepon. More details on Marek Michalowski's research can be found at the BeatBots Project website.

The Pirates who don't do anything, posted 31 Dec 2007 at 14:52 UTC by The Swirling Brain » (Master)

I could see veggie tales licensing bob and larry dancing veggie robots out of this thing. Next, everything from dancing pokemons to dancing star wars figures to elvis and rap stars and even potty trash items will be made out of this thing. Then, look for this next year at Christmas and you'll see lots of these made up as dancing Santas and Frosties and dancing off of store shelves. yee! I'm sure it will be over marketed and we'll be sick of them by then. Hey but at this point it's still cute and a curiosity!

Apparently from watching the other youtube videos of it, it can find faces and objects and sort of looks at them and jiggles. I wonder if it is IR detection or camera based or sound location based. Probably just cheap ir is my guess. It could look left at one thing and then look up and to the right for the other so it makes me wonder.

Anyway, it appears to actually be listening to the music for cues and it's more than just the same old silly jiggling musical dancing holiday toy.

Interview with Mic Cameras, posted 31 Dec 2007 at 14:58 UTC by The Swirling Brain » (Master)

From the BeatBots site:

Keepon is a small creature-like robot with a soft rubber skin, two cameras in its eyes, and a microphone in its nose

It is also used with Autistic kids, posted 1 Jan 2008 at 16:51 UTC by IgorCarron » (Journeyer)

fwiw, The first time Hideki Kozima presented his work with Keepon, it was when he was using it to study joint attention in autistic kids:

then it was really still a teleoperated robot with two cameras sending visual feedback to the operators.


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