PDA

View Full Version : Indiegogo - Alpha 2



Mike.
11-17-2015, 03:43 AM
FYI, Indiegogo has a campaign going on for a humanoid robot called Alpha 2. It is not a research platform like this, but it is only $599 right now (11 left). They are accepting developer applications for their App store. If Trossen is interested in distributing they have a 50 pack for at a reduced cost.

r3n33
11-17-2015, 10:55 AM
Isn't that cute! I wanna play with one :)

I like how the video makes you feel like he's there for you all day.

tician
11-17-2015, 01:51 PM
I like how the video makes you feel like he's there for you all day.
...with a measly one hour battery life. If it is supposed to spend all day with you, you will be carrying it everywhere because small walking robots with fully active joints are slow and inefficient.

Kudos to the marketing team that made the video, but doubt it will live up to its hype. It will not be an AnthroPC (http://www.questionablecontent.net/), but a glorified headless android smartphone with no touchscreen or keypad. After the initial 'cool new toy'/'the future is now' period wears off, how many people really use siri or cortana for everything every single day?

</me being my typical buzzkill self>

sonel
11-18-2015, 10:25 AM
I'm confused:are those kits including the servos or not? I couldn't find any information about the number of DOF.

For instance this option: "$739USD Developer Edition– 20kg Servo. Woo hoo! You'll receive 1 Alpha 2 Robot with one 20kg Servo. Free shipping Worldwide." So you're getting a plastic case and one servo?

The 20kg.cm servos (that probably are the more appropriate for the size of the robot) are each listed at $49 a pop. With an minimum of 20 DOF only the servos are $1000. Plus the case, controllers, cameras, software, etc.

Something is not right with those prices.

tician
11-18-2015, 11:24 AM
8[kg-cm] servos in head and arms; 20[kg-cm] servos in legs; 20 DOF total with developer kits including additional servo(s) as spares. Guessing they have one hell of a markup on their parts, but are dropping a lot of it just to ensure they get the initial funding.

Mike.
11-18-2015, 12:32 PM
Per a reply from the UBTech staff in the comments section on the Indiegogo site, it will have 8, 8kg servos, and 12, 20kg servos. Yes it is 20 DOF and it will come with all 20 servos installed and fully functional. If you look closely you can see that it only has two hip servos per leg, which to me is limiting. I have noticed in the comments on the Indiegogo page that there has been others confused about the number of servos included with the developer or additional servo versions. Tician is correct, if you order one of the additional servo versions you will get additional servos beyond those installed in the robot. Their staff has confirmed that they indented these extras to be used for development, gain additional understanding of how the robot works, or used as spares. I just re-checked their site and since they have reached $800k, every Alpha 2 will come with an extra 8kg and 20kg servo. If you are curious, the AX-12A's, used on the HR-OS1 are about 15 kg servos.

There is very little info about the servos in the Alpha 2. The servos used in the previous version, the Alpha 1, look very similar to Dynamixel's. Mounting looks very similar and I have read that they are connected by daisy-chaining them together like the Dynamixel's... aka one connection to the controller for each limb. I would not be surprised if their electrical interface is very similar as well.

I'm looking forward to taking it all apart when mine arrives. I have no disillusions of battery life or its capabilities. Just a note though, it will have 2x to 3x the battery life of the HR-OS1. The marketing hype for this thing is definitely over the top. I think the others posters above are correct, the general public, that does not know what these things are really capable of, are probably going to be pretty disappointed. Of course, I think they would be disappointed with a Nao, even at that price. IEEE did a review of the Alpha 2 and tried to make it clear that it was unlikely that this robot will actually be able to do most of what is shown in the video. As you all know, these little humanoids have a long way to go before they can do anything more useful than amuse us.

At the very least you can get a pile of servos to play with if you take the robot apart. When you sign up to donate, they state you will be given access to their developer site so you can begin to learn about building apps or hopefully how the servos can be interfaced. I have yet to see any info in my inbox about a developer site or a login. As fast as these have sold, I expect they are overwhelmed. Even if the developer site gets going and people actually contribute, I would be surprised if it has the productive activity I see here with the HR-OS1. The HR-OS1 is designed from the ground up to be a development platform, with on-going company support, and a very knowledgeable active user community. The Alpha 2 appears to be a toy that you might get access to some development tools for.

tician
11-18-2015, 03:07 PM
I'm looking forward to taking it all apart when mine arrives. I have no disillusions of battery life or its capabilities. Just a note though, it will have 2x to 3x the battery life of the HR-OS1.
Curious how this is managed considering it has the same battery capacity as the HROS-1 (3S 2.2Ah LiPo). Is it measured when the bot is just sitting around or holding a simple, low-power pose (joints naturally locked by design like knees of HROS-1)?

Mike.
11-18-2015, 10:37 PM
Good point, I'm not sure how they would keep their power usage down. The marketing materials say 1hr, but I saw their website listed 40 mins. I cut it a little further. Perhaps the servos are not easily back driven.

Here's a link if anyone is interested in checking it out:
http://igg.me/at/alpha2/x/12776908

Mike.

jwatte
11-23-2015, 01:37 PM
I don't need another robot.
I don't have time for the robots I already have.
$699, you say?