Ubtech Walker Robot Is a Leap Forward

LAS VEGAS - Ubtech has come out with several humanoid robots, including an Alexa-enabled one that does yoga, as well as a pint-sized Stormtrooper. However, the robot it previewed at CES is its most ambitious yet.

The Walker is a four-foot tall bot that has true bipedal motion, enabling it to not only walk around, but kick a soccer ball and even go up and down stairs.

The version shown off at CES 2018 was an early model — it didn't even have arms — but a company representative said that by the time it becomes available in 2019, the Walker will have all of its limbs, as well as a host of new abilities.

The Walker is studded with sensors, including cameras in its head and torso, as well as sensors in its feet and sides, which let it know when it's close to an object. With the right programming, the robot can also avoid things such as chairs and tables. Its head is a large touchscreen with a camera on top, and the robot responds to vocal commands as well as visual cues.

Credit: Tom's Guide

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Walker didn't so much walk as sashay around the room. Ball joints in its hips and ankles keep it upright, but it's very hippy as it moves back and forth. Its speed falls somewhere between glacial and turtle-like, but then again, I don't really want an 82-pound robot running through my house.

Ubtech envisions that the Walker will be useful for a variety of domestic tasks, from helping your kids with their homework, to checking in on and assisting the elderly. It could eventually get you a cold brew from the fridge.

But that's still in the future. Arms come first.

Mike Prospero
U.S. Editor-in-Chief, Tom's Guide

Michael A. Prospero is the U.S. Editor-in-Chief for Tom’s Guide. He oversees all evergreen content and oversees the Homes, Smart Home, and Fitness/Wearables categories for the site. In his spare time, he also tests out the latest drones, electric scooters, and smart home gadgets, such as video doorbells. Before his tenure at Tom's Guide, he was the Reviews Editor for Laptop Magazine, a reporter at Fast Company, the Times of Trenton, and, many eons back, an intern at George magazine. He received his undergraduate degree from Boston College, where he worked on the campus newspaper The Heights, and then attended the Columbia University school of Journalism. When he’s not testing out the latest running watch, electric scooter, or skiing or training for a marathon, he’s probably using the latest sous vide machine, smoker, or pizza oven, to the delight — or chagrin — of his family.