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My Keepon dancing robot (photos)

Priced at $49 and due out in fall of 2011, the My Keepon robot uses an advanced form of audio analysis to dance in perfect time with music. It's also ridiculously adorable.

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Donald_Bell.jpg

Donald Bell

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My Keepon

The My Keepon robot debuts at Toys "R" Us in fall of 2011, priced at $49. My Keepon co-creator Marek Michalowski offers a demo preview on CNET's Crave podcast.
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My Keepon - buttons

My Keepon - buttons

The My Keepon operates in two modes, activated by two buttons on its base. The music mode (left button) allows the robot to dance in time with any nearby music. The robot shifts semirandomly through a number of dance moves and locks into a song's tempo with an uncanny accuracy.

The second mode (right button) allows the My Keepon to react to touch, spinning on its axis, chirping, compressing, and generally being adorable.

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My Keepon - face

My Keepon - face

The My Keepon robot is the consumer spin-off of a research robot called simply Keepon, used to help children with autism build bonds of attachment, and to encourage eye contact and other difficult interactions.

The original robot uses cameras and microphones embedded in its eyes and nose to perform sophisticated tracking and response procedures. The low-cost My Keepon robot forgoes the sensors but maintains the same wide-eyed look and button nose.

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My Keepon - power input

My Keepon - power input

The My Keepon robot can be run from either eight AA batteries or a power adapter. No power adapter is included, but the standardized power input will work with common, inexpensive adapters.

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My Keepon - back

My Keepon - back

The My Keepon is covered in a spongy, durable rubber. Its texture is similar to a lemon.
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My Keepon - battery compartment

My Keepon - battery compartment

The My Keepon robot's battery compartment is located on the bottom of the base.

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My Keepon

Here you can see the My Keepon in all its glory. The whole thing stands about a foot tall.

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