Maker/Development
Alpha 2 robotic companion aims to be part of your family, doesn’t need a car seat

Previous campaigns JIBO and Buddy have shown how crowdfunding platforms are perfect vehicles to bring the dream of helpful robot companions to life. This time, company UBTech is hoping its bipedal Alpha 2 will not only catch backers’ attentions but also be an integral part of their lives too.

Boasting 20 joints that replicate human motion, Alpha 2 is an humanoid robot created by UBTech that’s all charm. Standing 17″ tall and weighing in at five pounds, Alpha 2’s programming offers the entire family a wide array of features to make daily living a little easier. Users can interact with it simply through conversation, asking it questions about languages, prompting it to search the web for general knowledge or interacting with the Wi-Fi connected aspects of the home like printers, lights and monitoring systems.

In addition, Alpha 2 can walk around and issue reminders, alerts or even offer location-based forecasts. Alpha 2 is also a the conduit through which calls are made, voicemails are listened to, and photos and videos are taken for those times when its voice-controlled music function plays a good tune. To really up the familial aspect of Alpha 2, it also tells bedtime stories to little ones, although that may not go over well with most parents. In any case, the Alpha 2 is priced at $699 with an expected delivery date of February 2016. The campaign is looking for $100,000 by December 12th, 2016.

Alpha 2 not only has the capacity to be a charming part of one’s life as Sony’s Aibo has been for many, but also be an extremely helpful part, too. With its own app store, UBTech is hoping Alpha 2 will reap the benefits of being an open platform and become even more versatile. The video shows it picking up a screwdriver, though — something that’s pretty far-fetched even for the most hopeful of backers. All in all, having a small robot assistant is certainly an interesting prospect until, of course, the company stops repairing it — breaking hearts in the process.

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