The adorable robot that can teach you French and control your home (hands-on with the Alpha 2)

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Everyone loves robots, right? I know I do. But UBTech's Alpha 2 promises to be an especially fun toy for grownups -- or really lucky kids. Selling for $1,300 around March (it launched as an Indiegogo campaign in November), the voice-controlled Alpha 2 has a whole bag of tricks that range from activating your smart home lights to practicing yoga.

Voice control wasn't turned on during our demo here at the CES show in Las Vegas, but I was able to use the app (for Android and iOS) to control the robot's movements, like turning around, waving, sitting, nodding and so on. The same applies to its other functions, too. It's pricy and questionably useful, but the Alpha 2 is darn cute.

Here's some of what the Alpha 2 can do:

  • Take photos
  • Tutor
  • Set reminders and alarms
  • Control smart home equipment like locks and lights
  • DJ, dancing, yoga poses

Battery life is on the low side: It can last an hour on a single charge, so if you want to use it longer, you'll have to tether it to its proprietary charging cord. Right now the Alpha 2 sidekick comes in red or blue, but more colors are on the way.

In the US, UBTech (pronounced YOO-bee-teck) has plans to stock in Toy R Us and Amazon, after shipping first to original campaign backers. Australian and UK details have yet to be announced, but its $1,300 price converts to around AU$1,845 or £890.

Hardware specs

  • 17 by 9 inches, 5 pounds
  • Android 4.4
  • 2,150mAH battery
  • 16GB internal storage
  • 2GB RAM
  • Wi-Fi-enabled
  • USB connector

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Where to Buy

UBTech Alpha 2

Part Number: CNETUBTech Alpha 2

MSRP: $1,299.00

Visit manufacturer site for details.