Amazon, the popular e-commerce giant, announced its first robot for the home called “Astro” during its annual 2021 fall event on Tuesday.
The Amazon Astro is a new and different kind of robot, which is designed to help customers with a range of tasks like home monitoring, setting up routines and reminders, playing music and TV shows, as well as keeping in touch with family and friends while rolling around the house.
It brings together new advancements in artificial intelligence, computer vision, sensor technology, and voice and edge computing in a package that’s designed to be helpful and convenient.
“One of the things I love about working at Amazon is inventing the future, and I’ve spent a lot of time since that day on a team that’s imagining how robots can help customers in new ways at home. Today, we’re excited to introduce what we’ve been working on—our first robot for the home. We named it Astro,” said Charlie Tritschler, Vice President of Products at Amazon in a blog post.
A few of the ways that Astro can be used around the house is to check in on your home when you are away.
For instance, Astro can move autonomously around your home, navigate to check in on specific areas, show you a live view of rooms through the Astro app, or even send alerts if it detects an unrecognized person.
The Wall-E-like autonomous robot also works with Ring, Amazon’s line of home security offerings. With Ring Protect Pro, a new subscription service from Ring, you can set Astro to autonomously patrol your home when you’re out, proactively investigate when an event is detected, and automatically save video clips to your Ring cloud storage, which you can review from anywhere in the Ring or Astro apps.
Astro brings the benefits of Alexa to you, including information, entertainment, smart home control, and more. It can follow you from room to room while playing your favorite shows, podcasts, or music.
It can also find you to deliver reminders, let you know that a timer went off, snap a family photo, and notify you of incoming Alexa calls—with the ability to follow you around your home while you are on the call.
The robot uses its digital eyes on its rotating display screen mounted on wheels, body movements, and expressive tones to communicate. You can also watch movies and TV shows as well as accept video calls on its rotating screen.
Further, Astro’s personality not only helps it communicate intent and offer delightful experiences, but it also evokes emotions like empathy when people use the device. on its rotating screen.
Additionally, Astro has been built with multiple safety features, and layers of privacy and security to keep you in control of your experience and keep your data safe. For example, Astro offers an advanced safety system, on-device processing, out of bounds zones, microphones/camera off button, and easy-to-see LED light when streaming video or audio to the cloud.
Astro will cost $1,449.99, but as part of the Day 1 Editions program, it will be available for an introductory price of $999.99 with a six-month trial of the Ring Protect Pro subscription included. Astro will be available in limited quantities, and Amazon has plans to start granting invitations and shipping devices to customers in the U.S. later this year.