Amazon Rolls Out Cute Autonomous Robot that Monitors Your Home and Follows You Around
29 September 2021 - Autocar
Meet Astro, Amazon's latest creation designed to help customers with a range of tasks like home monitoring and keeping in touch with family.
This cute-looking autonomous robot brings together new advancements in AI, computer vision, sensor technology, and voice and edge computing in a single package.
Astro can check in on any area of your home by featuring a 10-inch rotating screen and a pair of wheels that lets it move around autonomously. The robot has a built-in periscope camera that allows you to get a better view of the surroundings, and in case you want a specific area to be off-limits, you can always command Astro to avoid it.
Speaking of commands, the robot comes with voice recognition, bringing all the benefits of Alexa into play. Astro includes a microphones/cameras-off button, which users can use to switch off cameras, microphones, and even motion. It can also inform you when a timer has been set, take a family photo, and notify you of incoming Alexa calls.
Astro comes with a facial recognition feature, which allows it to follow you around and send alerts if it detects an unfamiliar person. It also has a new computer vision function called visual ID, which allows family members to train Astro to recognize them. That way, you can send a reminder or make a call to a specific person.
Intelligent Motion, the technology that allows Astro to move around, helps it navigate in a constantly changing environment. The robot's set of safety sensors, in combination with a dedicated safety processor, detects objects such as stairs and objects in real-time. Since Astro is a wheeled robot, it can only recognize where the stairs are but cannot climb them.
The robot also features a detachable cup holder and can carry other items. Because why not?
Astro is priced at $1,000, and it will be available in limited quantities. It is also worth noting that Amazon is offering the robot as part of Day 1 Editions, a program that allows some people to test the product on an invitation-only basis.