Amazon unveiled its first voice-controlled home robot called Astro; starting at $999
Amazon on Tuesday unveiled its long-rumored home robot called Astro, a screen on wheels that works with the company’s Alexa voice software. The new personal robot helper, which was first reported under development in 2018, will only be sold by invitation from Amazon at first.
Astro will only be sold by invitation from Amazon.com at an introductory Day 1 price of $999 versus the normal $1,449 price. Astro is small and comes to below my knee (I’m 5’$2 4”) when sitting. On its own, Astro roams around your house on three wheels and can be used to bring stuff from room to room, video chat, play music, keep an eye on your house while you’re away, and much more.
Astro was presented at an Amazon product event on Tuesday seeing checking on pets while a user was away and following a child through the home during a video call. Astro can move up to two miles per hour when cruising through your home.
Sorry, Astro can not go upstairs at this point but can handle a switch from hardwood or tile to carpet with ease. In the front, right under Astro’s face, which is a 10-inch display, are two large drive wheels.
You may be wondering, what about privacy? Amazon said Astro is built with multiple layers of privacy controls designed to protect your privacy. You can easily turn off mics, cameras, and motion with one press of a button.
You could also define out-of-bounds zones to let Astro know where it’s not allowed to go. If you create a visual ID, Astro uses on-device processing to recognize your face.
Amazon also said it’s working Alexa Together, a new way to remotely care for your aging loved ones, giving you peace of mind while helping them live independently. Using the Alexa Together subscription, you can receive activity alerts, and manage shopping lists or set up reminders on behalf of your loved one that Astro can deliver.
Astro can also deliver items in the cargo bin, like water bottles or vitamins. If there is an emergency, your loved one can say “Astro, call for help” to connect to our 24/7 Professional Urgent Response team.
Below is a video demo of Astro.