Astro robot

Amazon is launching Astro, its first household robot, powered by its Alexa smart home technology.

The company said it can be remote-controlled when not at home, to check on pets, people, or home security.

It can also patrol a home automatically and send owners a notification if it detects something unusual.

Amazon said it was more than “Alexa with wheels” and had been programmed with a range of movements and expressions to give it personality.

It demonstrated asking Astro to “beatbox” – and the robot bopped its head and made expressions while playing hip-hop beats.

Amazon was also keen to pre-empt privacy concerns.

It said Astro can be set with “outside the field of play” zones, so it can’t go into specific regions, or could be set to “don’t disturb”. It additionally includes buttons to wind down cameras and receivers – however it loses its capacity to move around when they are turned off.

The little robot additionally comes furnished with an extendable “periscope” camera that springs up from its head. Amazon showed an instance of utilizing it to check if a gas hob had been left on after leaving the house.

The innovation and retail goliath recommended that the $999.99 (£740) robot could be an assistance to the older.

“Astro is a bold move by Amazon, but a logical step given its expertise in robots and desire to become more integrated into consumers’ daily lives,”said Ben Wood, chief analyst at CCS Insight.

Unlike some rivals, Amazon “is willing to bring highly experimental products to market” and see how customers react, he said.

Categories: Technology News

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