2017 New York Design Awards

spaces, objects, visual, graphic, digital & experience design, design champion, best studio & best start-up, plus over 40 specialist categories

accelerate transformation, celebrate courage, growing demand for design

UBTECH Education Alpha 1X [DRAFT]


Project Overview

Unlike educational robots on the market that merely focus on action programming and voice interaction, Alpha 1X is an all new educational robot designed to upend some traditional notions about China’s education. It’s aiming to play a major role in robot and AI education.

Alpha 1X will mainly be used in colleges or as a platform for robot fans. Its accompanying curriculum promotes students' abilities at all levels in preparation for various carreers.


UBTECH Education

Project Brief

In class, Alpha 1X serves as a teaching assistant—its standard or other optional sensors help students in different experimental-based learning.

In Maker Space, Alpha 1X can be set to complete designated functions with the help of its open source hardware platform and open ports, which can be connected to different sensors and peripherals.

Alpha 1X makes humanoid simulation easier with highly accurate built-in servo systems and a Raspberry Pi processor. It features 3D visualized programming using a computer or laptop, and read-back functionality on iOS and Android systems. Students can simply use the APP to create complex actions and movement.

As a revolutionary tool for learning and fun in robotics and AI education, Alpha 1X is also a friend and mentor you can connect with.

Project Innovation/Need

The most significant feature of the Alpha 1X is its extensibility. With its open source software and hardware platform, you’re able to conduct independent development, using multiple sensors and different programming languages.

Generally, we teach robotics education using real-life simulations. For example, in Dressing Assistant Robot, different movements can be programmed by using different sensors. The robot will then give you dressing suggestions and precautions based on the information gathered when paired with sensors such as: infrared sensor, ultrasonic sensor, color sensor, touch sensor, temperature and humidity sensor, etc.

In real-life simulation teaching, students are free to explore their imagination when they learn to use different sensors on the robot, instead of looking for standardized answers. In the meantime, teachers are also able to make prompt adjustments according to students’ needs.

Design Challenge

Although the all-metal design affects wireless communication, and adds difficulty in control, we refined the design and balance achieving good haptic qualities. This is a significant breakthrough.

To achieve more functions, we carried out many experiments and tried different combinations of sensor design and composition.

We also work with CMU (Carnegie Mellon University), UCB (University of California , Berkeley) and BNU (Beijing Normal University) on the development of curriculum for college students.

Relying on powerful servo systems and sensors, together with a Raspberry Pi processor, we can bring diverse teaching contents to students.


Educational robot is only a hardware platform for our educational ideas.

We expect robots will play a more important role in teaching in combination with the curriculum. Meanwhile, we will not stop developing sensors.

It's certain that students’ unfettered imaginations will help to create infinite possibilities in our Alpha 1X.

This award celebrates creative and innovative design for either a component or overall product. Consideration given to aspects that relate to human usage, aesthetics, selection of components and materials, and the resolution of assembly, manufacturing and the overall function.
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