Amazon Reveals Its Expensive ‘Astro’ The Home Robot

Amazon is launching Astro, its first household robot, powered by its Alexa smart home technology.

Credit: Amazon

For those that already feel Amazon and Alexa already know too much about your life, turn away fast! If you like robots and aren’t worried about a so-called robot apocalypse, keep reading and start saving your pennies.

Meet Astro, the household android that wants to help you around your home.

The company said it can be remote-controlled when not at home, to check on pets, people, or home security. It can also patrol a home automatically and send owners a notification if it detects something unusual.

Amazon claims that it’s more than “Alexa with wheels” and had been programmed with a range of movements and expressions to give it personality. For example, it can “beatbox.” Once it gets goin’, the robot can bop its head and make expressions while playing hip-hop beats.

Amazon is also aware of privacy concerns — apparently.

It said Astro can be set with “out of bounds” zones. This means that it can’t enter certain areas of your home, and it can also be set to “do not disturb”. It also features buttons to turn off cameras and microphones.

However, if it’s so smart… couldn’t it just turn these features on and off without the permission of its stupid human owner?

The small robot also comes equipped with an extendable “periscope” camera that pops up from its head. Amazon showed an example of using it to check if a gas hob had been left on after leaving the house.

Credit: Amazon

Oh, and this thing is pricey. Astro is currently available only to select customers for $999.99 and once it hits retail it will sell for an even higher price tag of $1,449.99.

“Astro is a bold move by Amazon, but a logical step given its expertise in robots and desire to become more integrated into consumers’ daily lives,” said Ben Wood, chief analyst at CCS Insight. “Offering products resembling something from a science fiction novel positions Amazon as an innovative company in the eyes of consumers and investors.”

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Matt Sterner

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