For Alexander, what started off as a way to make a fun robot for his nieces quickly turned into something with far greater potential impact.
There is a huge market for programmable robots as educational toys, but affordability has been a major barrier to success in the consumer market.
Founder of Robotical Ltd Alexander aims to change this by producing a working robot that can be bought for less than £100 - but is far more than just a toy.
Robotical's 3D printed robot Marty can walk, dance, or even be programmed to play football. The unique design halves the number of motors required for each of the robot’s legs, reducing production and retail costs dramatically.
Billed as an open-source educational toy for 'geeks of all ages', it can be wirelessly reprogrammed and modified with new 3D-printed parts, such as extra limbs. Users can control it from their smartphones, dive into programming through graphical language Scratch, or more traditional languages such as Python. It has already been used to teach children Python, who designed movements to make the robots walk.
There are plans for a novel 'robot app store' where consumers can download code for their robots to change how they move, alongside files for 3D printable parts to customise their appearance – effectively hardware apps for your robot!