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?!

Image source: www.news18.com

 

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

Image source: www.news18.com

 

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

12 comments on “Amazon’s “Dog-Like Robot” Is Coming to a House Near You

  1. Darryl Moss on

    Finally the robotic world is catching up to the modern day needs of a household. I think this will be a wonderful gadget to use for the elderly and the people on their own. The communication aspect makes it special an maybe a system can be added for medical assistance when needed by elderly or those infirmed so help is at hand. Does it have the capability to go outside and watch the kids in the pool etc. Obviously it can’t open doors yet, so if the doors internally re shut it is limited to where it can go. Technology still has a long way to go. e are still trying t vreate a robot like a human and are getting better with AI. Who knows where this will go?

    Reply
  2. MAUREEN DOWNEY on

    Yes!!!! I could really use a robot. After spinal surgery, I can’t stoop to pick up things from the floor or things that I drop on the floor. At the moment I have 2 kinds of grabbers but I still have real difficulty with some things — eg. picking up a credit card is quite impossible. I have to dangle sticky tape until it sticks to the card. Picking up extremely small things or even a plate (they slide around and it is very difficult to get a grip). My main problem is with putting on sox and shoes (I can’t reach or tie laces), picking up things and carrying things like groceries into my house. At the moment I load the bags onto my walker and make a number of trips from my carport to my kitchen. Although I live alone, I have worked out ways to do the most difficult things because I prefer to live independently and don’t intend to just give up and sit around. I’m an octogenarian!!!

    Reply
  3. Sheilah Jowsey on

    I think this would work very well. I have a Roomba vacuum cleaner and it is very efficient and it empties itself. Very satisfactory. An Astro would work very well for elderly people and enable them to live in their homes. Keeping an eye on an elderly relative will take all the worry out of their children. I would certain buy one. I am 85 and my husband is 93. We are both active and manage very well but in the future this would be useful.

    Reply
  4. Nikki Morris on

    I am seriously thinking of purchasing your robot. I already have Alexa, and the Ring security doorbell,and Astro would became good addition. I plan to check with Amazon online and order Astro soon.

    Reply

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