Are you a dog lover or a robot lover? Because the Amazon Astro household robot is a seriously upgraded Fido!
Would you like to have a little rolling robot roaming around your home, keeping you company, and monitoring the house? It might sound like science fiction, but it’s officially a reality.
That’s because Amazon recently unveiled its newest innovation: A 2 foot-tall, 20-pound, touchscreen-equipped, Alexa-powered robot named Astro. What exactly does Astro do for you? We’ll talk about it below and go over the pros and cons of having an Alexa-powered robot in your house.
Yes, Astro is a robot… but what is it doing in your house?!
Household robots probably conjure up a lot of images… paging Rosie from The Jetson’s, anyone? So, what exactly is Astro, and why did Amazon create it in the first place?
Astro is a rolling household robot that combines computer vision, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Alexa, and Ring technologies into one compact package. It’s kinda like a digital dog on wheels, but with much more helpful skills.
Amazon made it mobile to solve issues with stationary devices (like a single indoor camera), allowing for easy communication with the elderly or disabled.
The idea is that people will be able to use it to check on rooms all over their houses, as well as the people and pets in them. It acts as a sophisticated, mobile, AI-driven security camera. And, to make Astro more personable, it has been designed with built-in mannerisms like eyes, screen motion, speech, and the ability to autonomously navigate around your house without bumping into things.
It’s not exactly Star Wars’ star-hopping, revolutionary R2D2, but it is the future!
Astro’s standout features
Astro is powered by two Qualcomm chips that have AI processing built in. Its operating system is based on FireOS and Linux. With five motors under the hood, it’s powerful. It’s also strong, able to carry up to five pounds on its back.
Its “face” is a plain black tablet with eyes that lend it expressive life. You can swipe or tap your way through commands or video chats on its face screen, or use voice commands. Astro’s built-in Alexa capabilities allow it to do everything the technology offers, such as find you entertainment or deliver calls and messages.
Astro is battery-powered; once the battery gets depleted, the robot finds its way back to a fixed charging dock for a power refill. It also comes with a variety of sensors to help with things like time-of-flight cameras, ultrasonic sensors, and other imaging and sensing tools that enable it to navigate your home. It also comes with a periscope camera that extends from its upper side.
Expect a little bit of everything from Astro
While Astro helps you communicate with elderly and disabled family members, that’s not its only benefit. Its 5-megapixel camera is great for video calls with faraway relatives like grandparents. You can also train it to follow you around while it plays songs on your playlist. It will carry things under five pounds to people in your house so you don’t have to do it yourself. You can also use it to monitor your Ring home security cameras, and you can engage with it socially just like you could with a pet.
Astro doesn’t go up and down stairs yet, so don’t expect it to follow you upstairs and jump into bed like your dog. You can train it to wait for you at the door when you get home, though!
An invasive addition to the family?
Despite Astro’s benefits, some people might find it to be an annoying rolling object for them to trip over. Others might consider it an added burden to the electricity bill. Still, others might worry about their privacy with a recording robot roaming around the house.
Whatever the case may be, Astro does point to a new and exciting future as far as home appliances go.
Are you ready for robots in your home?
What do you think? Are you ready to share your home with a robot? Comment your thoughts below and don’t forget to share this article with friends who love robots!
Cover image source: www.news18.com