Meet Astro, a Household Robot from Amazon

Astro is a robot that looks like it came out of a movie. It has a screen for a face and a compact body that moves wheels. Astro is a product of Amazon and works with the Alexa smart technology.

Amazon revealed that the robot is functional even when the owner is not at home. It can be controlled from a remote location, and it has the ability to do the following:

  • Check on pets;
  • Manage home security;
  • Provide camera shots.

As a moving robot, Astro can patrol the house and send the owners a notification if it detects unusual movement. Amazon dubbed it “Alexa with Wheels.”

Like other robots, Astro comes with a programmed personality. It has a wide range of movements and expressions. In a demonstration, Astro showed that it could do a beatbox. The screen bobbed up and down while the robot was playing music.

There are concerns about privacy, so Amazon made it possible for owners to set areas in the house that Astro cannot access. What this means is that it cannot go to these places, provided that the owner programmed it that way.

Owners can also set a “do not disturb” function. People also have the option to turn off Astro’s cameras and microphones. The catch, however, is that Astro cannot move if these audio and video devices are turned off.

How much does Astro cost? Amazon’s suggested price is $999.99. Yes, just one cent shy of a thousand bucks. Despite the cost, Amazon claims that the robot could be a great help to the elderly.

Amazon’s decision to release this product is a bold move. They are not afraid to test the waters and release innovative products. Astro will ship in 2021. The $999 price is only an initial offering. It will bump up to $1,499.99 soon.

Astro is only available via invitation. You cannot buy it even if you have the money—you must have an invitation from Amazon itself. Amazon believes in robots. They are stated that in the next decade, there is going to be a robot in every home.

What Amazon wants is to get a slice of the market share early on. So, what they did was to design a robot that would become a household companion. They designed Astro to look like a cartoon-inspired robot.

What Can Astro Do?

The bot’s design fits a person’s lifestyle. It adapts and learns your habits. Eventually, you will find it useful in your daily life.

For one, it has what is called Intelligent Motion. It can navigate your home and not bump furniture and pets. It can also learn according to how you use it. If not in use, it has the capability to decide whether or not to go somewhere else. It may hang out in unobtrusive locations if not in use, even if you do not tell it to.

Here are some of the things that it can do: 

  • Play music and podcasts as you tell it to;
  • Check on pets and children at home;
  • Make phone calls and send text messages;
  • Set timers and alarms;
  • Deliver water to people in the house.

If you want, you can do a video call with someone. As you do this, Astro will follow you around and will keep you in the frame. It is not clear yet if it can do the same for recorded videos, like if you are shooting something for a YouTube channel.

Also, it is not clear whether you can access an online casino or other websites and play. However, it does have a security system.

The Ring’s alarm system captures video clips of events. After that, it sends the video to the cloud. You need to subscribe to Ring to make it work. On top of that, you need to be subscribed to Protect Pro and Alexa Guard.

Astro can detect crashes. It knows the sound of breaking glass. It can also detect alarms from smoke detectors and will give an alert. It can also detect smoke on its own. If you do not know if you turned off the stove, you could send Astro to the kitchen to check.

Overall, Astro is the beginning of a technology that we have only seen in movies. Despite it looking like a cartoon version of a robot, Amazon has to start somewhere. It would not make sense to create a robot humanoid at this time, as the technology is young. However, Amazon is going to be at the forefront of robotics in the years to come.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.