Alpha 2 is the humanoid robot you’ve always wanted


A small robot with a big brain.


After watching Robin William’s title role in “The Bicentennial Man” (1999), did you dream of having a humanoid robot of your own? One that walks, talks and performs various duties, just like a member of the family? Well, the time of having your own “Bicentennial Man” is almost here. Meet Alpha 2, the smart humanoid robot by Shenzen-based startup UBTECH Robotics.

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UBTECH founder and CEO James Chow has devoted his career to creating intelligent robots for family use. With Alpha 2, Chow and his team of experienced robotics experts deliver a smart and interactive humanoid with social skills and practical household service. It’s easy to underestimate this small and cute robot as a toy, but Alpha 2 is touted to be smarter than your smartphone.

Alpha 2 is an all-in-one companion, personal assistant, tutor, in-home nurse, housekeeper and more. Using his Internet-connected brain with face and voice recognition, the bot can meet many of the daily needs for each family member. Its programmed conversation skills, general knowledge database and web search function makes it a great companion, tutor or helper around the house. You can ask Alpha 2 to make calls, check voice mails, read emails, send texts and control appliances, among countless other tasks.

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Not only can he take care of office work, he can take care of you. Alpha 2 can remind you when medications need to be taken, as well as control smart appliances including lights, locks and set Wi-Fi-enabled alarms and security systems. For fun, Alpha 2 can read to children, play music, dance, take photos and videos and work out with you. He has 20 joints replicating human movement, equipping it with the widest range of motion of any consumer robot to date.

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To get Alpha 2 alive and kicking, you simply connect it to your Wi-Fi network, teach it to recognize your face and voice, and download the accompanying mobile app for control and additional functions. At the heart of Alpha 2 is digital servo, an automatic control system that consists of a control board, a gear set and a motor. The humanoid is comprised of eight 8kg servos (head and hands) and 12 20kg servos (lower limbs), each driven by an ATmega8 MCU.

Beyond that, he is equipped with a Samsung Exynos 5260 processor with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage, a 3W stereo speaker, a number of sensors (accelerometer, touch and sonar), and runs the Android 4.4 OS. The cute companion has several RGB LEDs throughout his body, including his eyes, hands and chest, and offers both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. While the software is proprietary, UBTECH will provide an open API and SDK for Android app development.

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Intrigued? Head over to Alpha 2’s Indiegogo campaign, where UBTECH Robotics has well surpassed its goal of $100,000. The first batch of units is expected to ship in February 2016.

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