“Astro”: Amazon presents household robots | heise online


At its virtual press event on Tuesday, Amazon surprised everyone with a “one more thing”: an autonomous household robot called “Astro”. The little robot is equipped with a display that shows animated eyes in the form of circles and slits. And the “humaning” doesn’t stop there: Astro can, for example, beatbox on demand. It is “much more than Alexa on wheels”, according to Amazon – even if the device can handle all the usual functions of the company’s smart displays.

According to Amazon, Astro should be more than “Alexa on wheels” – and only the beginning of a series of robots from the manufacturer.

(Bild: Amazon Devices)

Obviously, one of the main tasks of Astro is to monitor the apartment when you are away. Here the robot was equipped with a telescope camera, thanks to which it can look into almost every corner. In this context, however, Amazon also pointed out the device’s additional privacy functions. For example, it is possible to define areas in the apartment or house that Astro is not allowed to drive into. You can also limit your activities depending on the time of day. After all, Astro can be sent to the quiet corner at any time by voice command.

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In the normal operating mode, for example, he looks for his master or mistress all over the apartment when a call comes in. Or he follows the user through the home during the call so that they can move freely. At the presentation, Amazon was particularly proud that the robot does not fly down the stairs, but automatically detects them and stops in front of them.

Astro with extended telescope camera on patrol.

(Bild: Amazon Devices)

These functions can also be combined with the security packages from the Amazon subsidiary Ring. The video recordings made by Astro, for example, can be saved on their cloud server.

The robot’s list price is said to be around $ 1500. Currently, however, it can only be pre-ordered by invitation in the USA for a selected group of customers as part of Amazon’s “Day 1 Editions” program. Astro should be delivered to the first buyers by the end of the year.


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