Is this the future? Amazon has released its new robot Astro on trial in the US and it’s proving incredibly popular! You currently have to be on an exclusive invitation list to trial Astro, but it’s expected to be more widely available next year.
Amazon’s Alexa has been helping out around the home since 2014, but the new Amazon Astro robot (often shortened to just Astro) is wowing Amazon fans in new ways. The device is made up of a small motorised unit which can travel around the home to carry out various tasks. It has a very friendly 10 inch tablet as a ‘face’ and even features a 1080p telescopic camera that can extend up to 42 inches. If Astro’s feeling tired (low battery!), then he’ll take himself to his charging station and sleep until he’s needed again. The only drawback so far is that it can’t ascend or descend stairs.
Astro is able to carry out all the usual Alexa functionalities such as adding to your shopping list, playing music, telling you the weather and making phone calls, as well as a whole new range of features brought-about by it’s new-found mobility.
What can Astro do?
- Alert users remotely to intruders and security threats
- Check around the house remotely using its periscope. camera (such as checking the oven is off or your straighteners are safely stored)
- Follow you around the home whilst on calls or playing music etc
- Deliver items that fit into it’s on board storage bin, such as taking a drink to another room
- Use various add-ons such as a dog treat dispenser which can be controlled remotely
- Recognise individual faces to communicate or deliver to/with the right person
- Recognise smoke and carbon monoxide alarm sounds, as well as breaking glass
- Alarm to scare off intruders / signal an emergency
- Control other smart devices around your home such as light bulbs.
When can we get one?
Astro is currently only available in America and has quite a hefty price tag of $999. After this initial release to exclusive invitees it will then rise to $1,450, which for comparison is a lot of Amazon Echo Dots (36 to be precise)! But, price tag aside, is this the future of our in-home smart helpers? We think so!