A playful and educational robot
Presentation video of the UBTECH ALPHA 1S robot
The UBTECH company wanted to create a robot suitable for all ages. It is thus easy to order from all pre-installed data. And that includes dance moves, a few songs, and stories. Just with that, my 6-year-old daughter is delighted. She sits on the carpet of the living room, and with the tablet makes him execute many commands.
But this robot goes further because it is possible to program. There, the teens of the family are delighted (12 and 15 years). With the editing software, it is possible to create motion and even record a choreography on the music of his choice. This is not always easy to do, but there are some tutorials online.
So while the younger listen to classic stories like the Trojan War, the biggest discover the basics of programming and robotics.
Description of the humanoid Alpha 1S
This robot is 40 cm high and flexibly reproduces the movements of the human body. With even more flexibility than I can do and more strength too (he pumps without blinking). It has a fairly elegant design. It is all white, with just black at the joints.
It works with a battery which unfortunately has a rather low autonomy. It takes only one hour between each charge.
Alpha 1S is equipped with speaker and sound is very good. It’s nice to listen to it singing, to enjoy music or stories. I was a little afraid of a voice too robotic and difficult to understand, and it is not at all the case.
Small gadget bonus, it has a wake-up function. A good way to timing out homework or to say that, finally, children can turn on the TV …
The programming is done on a computer, under Windows 7 or 8. Then the robot is controlled by an app available on IOS and Android. A connection is via Bluetooth 4.0. However, it is sometimes necessary to connect the robot to the computer via a USB cable to download new choreographies additional to others.
Our opinion about the Alpha 1S
One of my boys has not ceased to make him realize new choreographies of hip-hop. Then he put the robot on the kitchen table and start the dance with him.
My eldest son finally appreciates more the programming side. He seems to want to try all the software. On the other hand, it uses very little time with the robot. He checks what he programmed and that’s it. It’s pretty confusing, but as long as it’s fun, why not.
And I love him for a variety of reasons. At first, it occupies the children well. The sound is quality and discreet. The whole house does not sound from its vocal performances. Finally, I like the stories selected and I plan to learn how to record new stories.
On the other hand, I think that this robot is a family member, but that it is addressed above all to children able to manage with a computer and then with the robot. For me, the idea is not to be all the time behind them to check out what’s going on. But I will never have bought such a robot only for my 6-year-old daughter.
The weak point: its price
This robot currently costs 495 USD. There are promotions from time to time (that’s how we bought it). But even so, it remains an expensive robot. Fortunately, it is solid and of good quality.
But for the same price or almost, it is possible to buy the robot Darwin-Mini which is totally programmable.
Or five copies of the Robosapien (yes, the Alpha 1S costs five times more than the Robosapien, but the latest version is not at all programmable).
The pros and cons
| Quality sound
Ability to program
The stories he tells
| Low autonomy
The Alpha 1S robot is an incredible gift for a whole family. It is not always easy to plan the playing time of each child, there are days when everyone would like to play with it. But in the end, they learn both sharing and robotics. And we do not regret at all that we adopted Alpha 1S in our family!