My Keepon -- the little dancing yellow robot that looks like a gyrating two-story snowman -- is now available for pre-order from Toys R Us. The price is ten dollars (and ten quid) higher than promised -- now $49.99 in the U.S. and £39.99 in the U.K. -- but it's still considerably cheaper than the original $30,000 research model.
The surprisingly lifelike robot, which can react to touch and dance in rhythm to ambient music, was first popularized in this gratuitously adorable YouTube video from 2007. Since then, the research instrument has been translated into a toy by Keepon project creator BeatBots and toymaker Wow Stuff. The research device which preceded My Keepon is a complex robotic platform which has been used in the U.S. and Japan to study social development and autism. While the new toy model is simpler, it includes many of the original robot's most interactive traits, and could provide research opportunities for a much wider audience.
If you'd like to do some "research" of your own, you can start pre-ordering your dance party entourage today.