Amazon uses an army of robots such as BERT to handle warehouse logistics. Now, it seems the largest e-commerce company in the world is dipping its toes into the nascent consumer robotics market. Amazon’s first entry in this category is a home bot called Astro.
As per Amazon, Astro is a culmination of the company’s expertise in artificial intelligence, computer vision, sensor technology, voice, and edge computing. The robot can carry out several tasks such as home monitoring, passing snacks, video calls, and can also follow you around to deliver reminders. The American company is also working on adding features that will help you remotely “look after” aging loved ones. With the Alexa Together subscription, users will also get access to Amazon’s 24×7 Urgent Response team.
Amazon Astro Features
The Amazon Astro is reminiscent of LG’s CLOi robot. However, instead of a circular screen, the Astro has a rectangular panel for a face. It is designed to move around at a human pace. It can be used for remotely checking on the house. Astro can patrol a certain area when you are away. To move freely around obstacles, this bot is equipped with stereo depth sensors along with navigation sensors.
Subscribe to OnsitegoGet the latest technology news, reviews, and opinions on tech products right into your inbox
It features a 10.1-inch HD touchscreen display with HD resolution (1,280 x 800 pixels). The panel holds a 5MP camera for video calls. Plus, there’s a 1080p periscope camera with a 132-degree field of view. It also houses a 2.1-channel audio system comprising two 55mm front-firing drivers and a passive bass radiator. The Amazon Astro is powered by two Qualcomm QCS605 IoT chips, one Qualcomm SDA660 processor, and one Amazon AZ1 Neural Edge processor.
In terms of connectivity, you get dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth with A2DP profile support. The Amazon Astro draws power from a lithium-ion battery, which can be topped up via a USB Type-C port. Depending on the task are you setting it up for, the Astro be customised with various load-outs such as cargo bin and cup holder.
Amazon claims the Astro uses an Intelligent Motion system, which scans your house in real-time to generate several hundreds of potential paths to move around. The robot can also factor in a possible change in the environment such as a grocery bag standing in its way. On top of that, Amazon’s bot can identify enrolled family members. For now, this feature will be used for passing beverages to the right person. In eventuality, we all know what Skynet’s end goal is.
Amazon Astro Price, Availability
In the US, Amazon Astro’s price is $1,450. However, under the Day 1 Editions program, it will be sold for $1,000. The price will also include a six-month trial of the Ring Protect Pro subscription. In the press release, Amazon mentions that Astro has been internally tested for hundreds of thousands of hours. It will soon start rolling out to customers “later this year” via Day 1 Editions program. Those interested in letting this robot into their house can sign up for an invite over there. As of now, Amazon hasn’t shed any light on Astro’s global release.