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Meet Astro: Amazon’s new robot that’s more than Alexa on wheels

Astro
Image credits: Astro

Amazon’s much-awaited home robot is here! After tons of rumors and leaks, Amazon unveiled its moving robot – Astro, at a product event on Tuesday. 

Not your regular robot

According to Amazon, Astro is a new and different kind of robot, one that’s designed to assist consumers with a range of jobs like home monitoring and staying in touch with family. 

Under this cute appearance, Astro packs together new advancements in artificial intelligence, computer vision, sensor technology, and voice and edge computing.

Astro comes equipped with a rotating screen that’s mounted onto a base with wheels. The e-commerce giant has worked a lot on keeping the robot friendly and cute, with expressive body movements and eyes that respond to user interaction.

A small white and black robot announced by Amazon on September 28, 2021
GIF credits: Amazon

Check-in on your home

With two primary wheels and a third smaller wheel at the back to help with navigation, Astro can move autonomously around the home, drive to check in on specific areas, show you a live picture of rooms via the Astro app. 

The robot can navigate around the object on the floor or braking to avoid colliding with obstacles. Then there is a periscopic camera attached to the base of the device that can be lowered or raised to view objects.

Alexa integration

Unsurprisingly, Astro comes equipped with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant. Astro brings the benefits of Alexa to users, including information, entertainment, smart home control, and a lot more. 

Safety and Privacy

Astro also has security and safety features. With Amazon’s smart home security subsidiary Ring, Astro is capable of autonomously patrolling user’s homes while they’re away. 

When an event is detected, it automatically saves video clips to the user’s Ring cloud storage, which can be reviewed from anywhere in the Ring or Astro apps.

If you are worried about privacy, Amazon said Astro comes with microphones/cameras-off buttons like Echo devices. When pressed, Astro cannot move or take videos or listen to audio, and a dedicated red LED is illuminated to suit the red status indicator on the screen.

Pricing

For those interested to buy, the Wall-E like Astro will cost $1,449.99, but as part of the Day 1 Edition program. Also, it will be available for an introductory price of $999.99 with a six-month trial of the Ring Protect Pro subscription included. Amazon further, didn’t reveal a release date for the robot, but it said it will begin granting invitations later this year.

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