The Alpha 2 social droid is being touted as the “world’s first family robot.” The robot is programmed to help with tasks such as household chores, reading to children at bedtime, and turning off and on lights for their human companion. However, the robot can also be programmed via an app system to perform specialized services such as acting as a nurse with medical knowledge, teaching yoga, or teaching languages to its human companion. The droids feature social programming that allows them to communicate with other droids and will have their own social networks in the near future.
The Daily Mail reports that the Chinese tech company UBTech has fully funded its “affordable humanoid butler” via an Indiegogo campaign back in November that raised over $1.3 million in funding. The Alpha 2 is slated to be released at a price that most families could afford at $1,300. The social droid was featured at the CES show in Las Vega where it was announced the Alpha 2 would be released for sale in March.
Alpha the social droid helps with housework, bedtime stories and yoga https://t.co/1DbBz3nOfp Oh my God!
— ciutadaindignat (@ciutadadelmon) January 9, 2016
The “first humanoid robot for the family” was described in the Indiegogo campaign as the “robots you dreamed of as a child” with a small body but big brain. The robots were designed after the robot of childhood dreams that could be your friend and interact with you in a human-like manner. The company says that the humanoid robots have all the same knowledge and capabilities of your smartphone, only they are put into human form with the ability to engage with users unlike anything a smartphone could offer.
The latest details on the Alpha 2 suggest that it will be capable of everything from performing household chores to acting as a friend and yoga instructor. The Alpha 2 has 20 movable joints that allow it to move in human-like motions. Watch the video below to see Alpha 2, the “world’s first family robot” in action.
As the video outlines, Alpha 2 does things that your smartphone could never do by acting as a personal assistant and performing tasks around the home. Applications can even be uploaded to Alpha 2 that will allow him to tutor you in foreign languages, remind you of doctor’s appointments, and explain how to perform repairs around the house or simply play with children in the home.
UBTech calls Alpha 2 a humanoid robot that makes a “fun friend for everyone in the family.” To ensure Alpha 2 is as life-like as possible, the robot comes with facial recognition capabilities that allow it to recognize members of the family from afar. The robot can even act as your personal social assistant by capturing photographs, videos, and even posting them to your social media accounts on command.
Here is a list of some of the things that Alpha 2 will be able to do for the family upon arrival.
- Organizing calendars, schedules and providing reminders for upcoming events and tasks.
- Take photographs and post images to social media accounts.
- Teach yoga or dance lessons to family members.
- Provide verbal instructions for tasks such as home repairs.
- Entertain children or guests in the home by providing music or dancing.
- Answer questions by searching the web.
- Teach foreign languages to household members.
- Report the weather
- Setup medical reminders.
- Work as a home security monitor that can alert homeowners to intruders.
— TechRepublic (@TechRepublic) January 7, 2016
For those hoping to add Alpha 2 to their family in March, the robot will first go on sale on the company website and will ship worldwide. What do you think about the Alpha 2 humanoid robot? Will you be purchasing “the world’s first family robot?”
[Image via UBtech/ Youtube]