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Science & Technology

Amazon to release an autonomous home robot

By T.K. Randall
September 30, 2021 · Comment icon 18 comments

Astro certainly looks like a fun gadget, but it is very expensive. Image Credit: Amazon
The online giant's new robot Astro will roam around your house equipped with cameras and microphones.
Powered by Amazon's Alexa smart home technology, the pint-sized robot, which has been in development for years, will be one of the first true home robots to hit the market.

Equipped with wheels and an emotive "face" display screen, Astro can move autonomously around the home while avoiding obstacles and can even recognize specific individuals through facial recognition.

Offering the same suite of features as Amazon's existing Alexa devices, the robot can also be used for home security - patrolling your rooms with an extendible periscope camera when you are not at home and alerting you if any unknown individuals happen to stray within range.

It can also be used to carry small objects from one person to another within a household.
As always, however, the elephant in the room with this device is privacy - there is no doubt a lot of people might not take too kindly to the idea of playing host to a mobile robot that can record video and audio of their home at all times of the day and night.

To combat these concerns, Amazon has made it clear that Astro can be restricted from entering certain areas and it is also possible to disable the cameras and microphones with a switch.

The price tag, too, is likely to be a concern - 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.

Whether it will ultimately catch on with consumers remains to be seen.

Source: BBC News | Comments (18)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #9 Posted by MissJatti 3 years ago
Need a dective, look no more, Alexa Robot is here
Comment icon #10 Posted by Myles 3 years ago
Seems like it should at least have a vacuum cleaner built in as it sounds like it navigates nearly the same way as an auto sweeper (Roomba type).  
Comment icon #11 Posted by Nuclear Wessel 3 years ago
Sales of this robot are going to be absolutely ridiculous. IMO, I see the success of Amazon's "Astro" line of robotics being on par with the personal computer. Every family is probably going to want one.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Myles 3 years ago
Why?   We already have tablets, we don't need a stand for it that costs $1000.
Comment icon #13 Posted by aztek 3 years ago
They absolutely will, no doubts  Many are brainwashed to believe, if you do nothing wrong you have nothing to  worry about. Imagine a scenario, your Astro, that's connected to the internet has a database of wanted people, its camera detected a wanted felon who is armed and dangerous, but it was no felon it was your guest who resembled him a bit, and a dirty cam lens, licked by your dog, contributed to misidetification, next thing you know swat busts your door , and God knows what else they do or who they shot. Or someone could hack it and practically live in your house, know everything abo... [More]
Comment icon #14 Posted by Nuclear Wessel 3 years ago
Absolute nonsense, because the Astro does not have that functionality. Kind of like somebody hacking your cell phone? Sorry, I know you conspiracy-theory wingnut types like to think otherwise, but you're not important/interesting enough for people to spend that kind of time/energy on.
Comment icon #15 Posted by Michelle 3 years ago
If hackers hack a basic baby monitor they'll hack anything... The bot is designed to learn your habits to make it more useful in your everyday life. For example, Astro uses tech called Intelligent Motion to navigate your home and avoid furniture and pets, and it's supposed dto learn from how you use it. This means when you're not using Astro, it'll hang out in a low-traffic area close by and charge.  The robot can follow you around playing podcasts and music, as well as check on others in the house remotely. Astro can also make calls, send messages and set timers, alarms and reminders. The r... [More]
Comment icon #16 Posted by third_eye 3 years ago
Astro... Heart attack... I'm dying...  Yes, master.... ~  
Comment icon #17 Posted by Hyperionxvii 2 years ago
They're probably busy in Congress right now writing up a law to give these things to everyone because 'equity'. No one should be allowed to have a pesonal spy bot in their house if eveyone can't. 
Comment icon #18 Posted by moonman 2 years ago
I don't see any benefit to having an amazon echo bumbling around the house. It can't actually do anything other than get stepped on. What's the point? It's nothing but a spying/hacking/security issue on wheels. Last thing I need is a camera following me around filming god knows what, available to god knows who.

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