Keepon Dancing Toy Therapeutic for Kids With Autism

Hi, my readers – today, I wanted to try something a bit different.  Instead of reviewing an application, I’m branching out into other inexpensive and readily available technologies that could help children with autism.  The Keepon dancing toy is one of these such technologies.

Keepon Dancing Toy

keepon dancing toy for kids on the autism spectrum


Originally designed as a robot used in autism social behavior therapy, I believe that the “toy” version, which will be a Toys R Us exclusive and sell for around $20, will have close to the same effect that the $30,000 version had.  (The expensive original Keepon robot, designed by Hideki Kozima, was remote controlled and had a bunch of other cool tech stuff such as facial recognition software shoved into its cute little body.)  The Toys R Us version of Keepon will be a dancing machine that can still react to touch and help nurture social skills in kids with autism.

Note:  We’re going to need more information on the complete feature list of the $20 Keepon before we can definitively declare it a tool to help kids with autism.

First of all, the upcoming Keepon robot will have two modes: touch and dance.  I feel that dance mode will be super fun for these kids, but that touch mode will have a greater effect on their ability to make eye contact and things like that.  In touch mode, Keepon responds to different numbers of touches in different areas.

For example, if a child touches Keepon once, it might wiggle.  If a child touches Keepon twice, it might sneeze – things like this.

When Hideki Kozima was originally conducting research, he found that, for whatever reason, kids who had autism were making more eye contact and physical embraces with the toy than they did with normal people.  Though you may feel that the Keepon dancing toy will steal your child away from you, Hideki also found that these social skills transferred over into the real world.  (Not 100%, of course, but the kids improved.)  Note: Marek Michalowski is the one who helped program Keepon to have sweet dance moves.

In dance mode, Keepon will entertain your kid for as long as it can go without new batteries.  Even if you play it the same song, which many children with autism will do, example: “C Is For Cookie,” Keepon will dance differently while still maintaining tempo.  This is because it randomizes movements in order to keep kids entertained, much unlike other dancing toys you’ve probably seen.  (Example: the i- series; iFish, iDog, etc.)

Get your own Keepon Dancing Toy Here


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4 Responses to Keepon Dancing Toy Therapeutic for Kids With Autism

  1. […] No, I’m not going to Rick Roll you.  I just want you to check out an article I wrote on the Keepon, a dancing robot that also has therapeutic value for kids with autism.  Trust me, you’ll […]

  2. […] want you to check out an article I wrote on the Keepon, a dancing robot that also has therapeutic […]

  3. Nerice on October 15, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    It’s a pleasure to find someone who can identify the issues so celarly

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Who’s Behind Autism Plugged In?

Who’s Behind Autism Plugged In?

My name is Jack Kieffer and I'm a blogger sharing my love of technology at blogs like Cool Gizmo Toys, Greenamajigger, and here at Autism Plugged In where I'm trying to make a difference in the lives of children with autism.

Several years ago, I began volunteering with special needs kids, who gave me much joy and an appreciation for life. This blog is my way of giving back. Any proceeds from this effort are used to support my friends with autism. Read more about Jack or connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.