Now Everyone Can Have a “My Keepon” Robot (Video)

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The original Keepon robot, developed by Hideki Kozima at Miyagi University in Japan, was incredibly cute and engaging, to the point that people just couldn't help smiling, laughing, and moving in sync while the robot danced to music or used it's built-in sensors to interact realistically with them.

The Keepon design concept was intended to explore the possibility that a simple emotive robot could help autistic children with communication and learning challenges. Most autistic children tend to be completely overwhelmed by the volume of input and sensory data involved in even the most basic social interactions. It's kind of like trying to take a drink of water from a fire hose. Kozima's insight, which turned out to be right on the money, was to reduce the flood of inputs to a minimum while packaging the robot in an appealing, friendly body.


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Robot Pro-Wrestling Dekinnoka 8! (Video)

robot pro wrestling

I'm really looking forward to the mega Robot Colosseum event coming up in a few weeks in conjunction with the 50th Japan SF Convention in Shizuoka. It's going to be an absolute blast. One of the reasons that gets me so excited is that one of the main robot attractions will be the 8th Robot Pro-Wrestling Dekinnoka competition.

I'm sure you can easily imagine what it's like to have humanoid robots battling it out in the ring with all the energy, excitement, posing, and costumes that make real pro-wrestling such a blast. But, don't take my word for it, or depend on the limits of your own personal imagination. Check out the Dekinnoka promotional demonstrations and press conference videos below.


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Google Grabs Motorola Mobility for a 63% Premium

google motorola

This was definitely a surprise, especially given the fact that Google was willing to pay a 63% premium over last Friday's market price for Motorola Mobility Holdings. Of course, no one has any doubts that Google is totally committed to Android and fully intends to make it the defacto standard, ubiquitously connected, operating system for cell phones, mobile computing, robotics, and the cloud.

At the same time, I have to wonder what the primary motivation for the extremely high evaluation was. It can't be based on Motorola Mobility's existing product lines since customers for mobile products tend to be fickle and change phones and makers almost as if they were seasonal fashion items instead of technology gadgets.

Perhaps Google is buying the talent, though that's a risky move. Highly talented developers and managers often jump ship when a major change in management or ownership happens. The most likely factor, in my opinion, is the patent base and position controlled by Motorola Mobility.

"Google said that access to Motorola, which makes phones that run on Google's Android mobile operating system, will "enable Google to supercharge the Android ecosystem and will enhance competition in mobile computing.""

No matter what their reasoning, the move has to be great news for the robotics community. You can be sure we'll see lots Android enhancements and features coming down the road that will spur robot connectivity to all types of devices and to the cloud.

(Via Google to buy Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion - Aug. 15, 2011.)

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ARS Electronica Festival to Kick-off With A Bang (Video)

Tesla Orchestra

If I had no budgetary and time constraints it would be fantastic to jaunt around the world experiencing all the fantastic technology, robot and science exhibitions I could find. Number one on my personal wish list, at least at the moment, would be the Ars Electronica Festival, scheduled for August 31st through September 6th, in Linz, Austria.

The long running festival goes back to September, 1979 when it was originally staged as a "pilot project was designed to take the Digital Revolution’s emergence as an occasion to face important questions about the future and to focus these inquiries on the nexus of ART, TECHNOLOGY and SOCIETY."


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RoboDance Fundraiser Hot Domain Auction

robosapien robot dance

Software development isn't cheap, and it's particularly difficult if you happen to be a sole developer committed to supporting and enhancing a popular open source software project out of your own pocket.

For years Robert Oschler has contributed to the robot community in many ways, including freely sharing his knowledge and expertise, creating hilariously entertaining robot videos and unique new robot songs, in addition to developing the RoboDance project that enables users to control a wide range of robots from their PC or other devices. He's even gone to the extreme of adding voice recognition capability and Skype functionality to the open source system.

While his dedication and commitment to the project have brought him some level of recognition and fame, like being featured in the New York TImes, it hasn't attracted funding to underwrite the project. As a result, he's putting several very attractive internet domains on the auction block, including potentially strong SEO ranking properties like,,, and

It's a great chance for the right person to pickup a hot, highly relevant, domain at bargain pricing, while helping out the robot community in the process.

(Via RoboDance fundraiser.)

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NAO Robot In Training As Personal Assistant (Video)

nao robot calendar

While some robot developers are striving to create humanoid soccer players that will outperform their carbon based inventors, or are trying to bring their childhood robot heros, like Gundam, to life, Carl Clement in the UK is taking a much more pragmatic and perhaps humanistic/social approach. He's enrolled his NAO robot in a training regimen to become his personal secretary and assistant.


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RT Corp Featured In Spanish Travel Magazine Top 10 Techno Store List

ten top techno shopping stores

A recent Muchoviaje Spanish language travel magazine article entitled "10 Tiendas de techno-shopping" featured the top ten must-visit technical goods stores around the globe. Here's their selection:

  1. Yodobashi Akiba - Tokyo, Japan
  2. Apple Store - New York City, USA
  3. RT Corp - Tokyo, Japan
  4. Fortress World Flagship - Hong Kong
  5. Tsann Kuen 3C Nova - Taipei, Taiwan
  6. Electronic Land - Seoul, Korea
  7. Fry's Electronics - Sunnyvale, California, USA
  8. Nokia Flagship Store - Helsinki, Finland
  9. Meister Camera - Berlin, Germany
  10. Apple Store - Regent Street, London, England

Congratulations to RT for making this distinguished list. In addition to the wide selection of humanoid and other robots, and English capable staff, the article mentioned that RT is the home of the "famous RIC Android robot". Quite a feather in their cap.

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