Keepon has been around for a while and used in the research field for helping children with autism with social interaction. It’s a very engaging robot, having such lively dance moves in-sync with upbeat music using the MAX visual programming platform.
Here are a couple robots that have similar functionality.
A MAKE magazine project by beatbots (maker of the Keepon) that puts together low cost components to create a keepon-like robot.
A low cost (initial cost of $700) therapeutic robot with open source software for use by various researchers.
There is a growing number of autistic children today. There are many established invention programs but there is limited progress in these methods. Different groups of researchers have been using robots as a tool to combat autism. Different robots have been used – mobile robots to teleoperated childlike robots to cartoon characters.
CHARLIE (Child Centered Adaptive Robot for Learning Environments) is the latest addition to this team of robots. Charlie was designed by Laura Boccanfuso of University of South Carolina. Charlie was create to improve communications skills of autistic children, in particular imitation and turn taking. Charlie has a camera that can do face tracking, IR sensors that measures the temperature of the subject and detachable arms to prevent damage in event the child gets a little rough.
Some robots in this area.