Science & Technology
Amazon to release an autonomous home robot
September 30, 2021 | 16 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
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