We've been having a torrid affair with the Keepon robot since 2007, his simple yellow shape and unflappable adherence to the beat capturing our hearts. But, sadly, this has been an unrequited love, as the little guy has only been available to research institutions (and, apparently, rock bands) at the tear-inducing price of $30,000. Now there's a version we can finally bring home to mother, the $40 My Keepon. It's being dubbed a "toy," so we have our doubts that it can bust the same sort of moves its Pro predecessor puts down (embedded after the break), but we're certainly going to be first in line to find out when they hit stores. No, we don't know when that is just yet, but we're told all will be revealed on February 14th. Yes, Valentine's Day.
Show full PR text
Guide SRP £29.99 or USD$40.00
Wow! Stuff, hot on the heels of an award-winning 2010 and the wildly successful "Dave the
Funky Shoulder Monkey," prepares to do it again in 2011 with their new blockbuster toy, "My
With over 4 million views on YouTube, music videos featuring a robot named Keepon have
stoked the public's desire for this cute and lovable yellow character. In addition to Keepon's
wild internet popularity, it has been named one of the "Top 10 robots of all time." Until
recently, Keepon has been limited to labs and institutions, where it is breaking new ground in
the ﬁelds of social robot design and autism research.
But now, a toy version of the character is on show for the ﬁrst time at the European Toy Fair in
Nuremberg, Germany. Toy manufacturer Wow! Stuff is expecting My Keepon to be the year's
hottest toy - not just in the UK, where Wow! Stuff is based, but throughout the world, having
agreed to a USA launch with a major retailer (due to be announced on February 14th). Richard
North, Wow! Stuff's Managing Director, announced, "We are launching a blockbuster toy that
will sell in similar quantities to last year's mega-hit Dave, but this time we're going global."
North added that, during London Toy Fair previews, "My Keepon had all of the retailers in
absolute disbelief. You could count the number of wows exclaimed in each meeting as we
presented this exceptional toy." Wow! Stuff's claims for blockbuster sellers have proven spot-
on to date, with runaway success Dave the Funky Shoulder Monkey selling more than 270,000
units in the 3 months before Christmas 2010 in the UK alone.
For My Keepon, Wow! Stuff has collaborated with Keepon's designers at BeatBots LLC. BeatBots
co-founders Dr. Hideki Kozima and Dr. Marek Michalowski have been developing and using
Page 1 of 3
Keepon in Japan and in the USA as a robotic research platform for studying social development
and as a telepresence tool in autism therapy. A meeting of minds occurred when Dr. Graeme
Taylor, Director at Wow! Stuff and Head of Inventor Relations, wanted to help make a version of
Keepon available to the robot's massive and growing fan base, as evident on YouTube,
Facebook, and countless blogs. For their part, Kozima and Michalowski also wanted to meet
this public demand for the character of Keepon while making the high-end Keepon Pro robot
more widely available to researchers and institutional users.
Wow!'s design experts and robotics engineers, based in their recently-opened Los Angeles
office, worked closely with BeatBots to design a toy that captured the essence of the Keepon
character while replicating the robot's most engaging interactive traits. These features include
reactivity to touch and an amazing ability to listen to music, detect the beat, and dance in
But most importantly, Wow! Stuff and BeatBots are working to ensure that the success of My
Keepon will directly support the social welfare goals at the heart of the Keepon story. "A
percentage of the proﬁt from each My Keepon will go towards subsidizing and donating
BeatBots' research-grade robots to therapists and researchers," said Taylor. "We are so proud
to make Keepon available to a broader audience, and we will choose retail partners who also
feel proud to sell him."
Michalowski commented, "Our dream is to make Keepon Pro units widely available to
researchers and practitioners. Our work with Keepon suggests that the character's simplicity,
combined with a caregiver's ability to conduct mediated interactions through the robot, can
facilitate social engagement in a novel and exciting way. We hope that the toy version of our
robot can channel public excitement towards general autism awareness while supporting our
distribution of tools and resources to people and organizations around the world working to
understand and treat it."
Page 2 of 3
VAT Registration Number: 883 7345 84 | Company Registration Number: 04989385 - Registered in England
Registered Office: China Industries Limited, The Creative Industries Centre, Wolverhampton Science Park, Wolverhampton, WV10 9TG
BeatBots LLC designs socially interactive robotic characters for entertainment, research, and art.
For more details about Keepon, visit http://beatbots.net or contact Dr. Marek Michalowski at
email@example.com or +1.415.894.0065.
About Wow! Stuff:
For 5 years, Wow! Stuff has been inventing and manufacturing toys across three continents,
with design offices in Hong Kong, Los Angeles, and Wolverhampton, England. As the fastest-
growing toy company the UK*, Wow! Stuff has been recognized for creating 'Wow factor' toys
and amazing 'Wow factor' videos for in-store use. Along with the Demonstration Academy
owned and run by Wow! Stuff, sales growth rate has been 112% year-on-year for all 5 years.
Wow! Stuff is the HSBC Business Thinker winner for 2010 and received an Orange Award for
Innovation from the UK's National Business Awards 2010.
*Fastest growing 100 companies as awarded by the Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100 (2010).
For more details, visit http://www.wowstuff.co.uk.