Meet Amazon’s New Home Robot - Astro | TechTree.com

Meet Amazon’s New Home Robot - Astro

Astro is a relatively small robot, about the size of a small dog, and it can cruise through your home at 2 miles per hour.

 

Image Credit : www.theverge.com

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

Amazon has announced its plans to launch Astro, a first-of-its-kind household robot, powered by its Alexa smart home technology. Astro is a relatively small robot, about the size of a small dog, and it can cruise through your home at 2 miles per hour. It can’t climb stairs, but it can easily switch from hardwood or tile to carpet. Two large wheels are positioned right under Astro’s face. The rear has a tiny rotating wheel, which allows it to turn. It’s thick at the front and slims out towards the end.

Astro is the first home robot from Amazon and is finally available for sale after being in development for four years.  Astro is a ‘Day 1 Product’ which means that it won’t be sold to everyone initially. Instead, people can sign up and then Amazon will invite them to order the robot. This prevents Amazon from building too many Astros’ it won’t sell, the company said. The Day 1 price is USD $999 and after that the price will be USD $1,449.99. It will be available in the US later this year, but there’s no telling when it will be available anywhere else.

At the core of Astro is Amazon’s smart assistant and artificial intelligence system – which allows you to ask Astro questions in the same way you’d search for something on Google.

Astro’s internal components are all on the inside, but there’s a sort of trunk at the back which features a USB-C port for charging another device. Oh and Astro also has a cup holder, which would allow you to command Astro to bring a drink to you or someone else. 

In fact other companies will specifically design products that fit inside the Astro trunk. Like Furbo, the dog camera that shoots treats out, and even Ziploc will make fitting containers. Just like any car, there are an abundance of sensors built into Astro. Both Cliff & Ultrasonic sensors help it navigate its surroundings, detect obstacles, and indepth cameras help it calculate the distance between objects.

Built into Astro’s 10-inch screen is a 5-megapixel camera that sits at the top bezel. There is an arm behind the display that holds the camera in place, just like the mast of a ship. Yes, the display can be tilted electronically or physically up and down by 60 degrees or left and right by 45 degrees. The center of the display has a circular LED ring that glows blue when Astro is engaged. The center of the display also has a button to disable Astro and make it immobile , shutting off any cameras and microphones. 

Astro also comes with a 42 inch periscope that has a 12 MP camera, allowing you to use Astro to get a view, but Astro cannot move with its periscope extended.  Like a robotic vacuum, Astro will charge on a dock that it can get to by itself when its battery is low. While Astro charges, which takes around 45 minutes, you can watch a movie or go on a two hour video call. 

Astro is a home robot that is powered by a Qualcomm processor for all sorts of tasks. Astro can recognize faces through Visual ID when the feature is enabled. Astro only uses basic facial features to recognize somebody, it’s not as advanced as Apple’s facial ID. But Astro can still recognize people with masks on. 

Astro is only the beginning. There is so much more a robot could do like pick things up with arms. Astro can’t do that yet but one day it or another robot will be able to not just pick things up, but a lot more too – like mopping the floor, doing the dishes, and other mundane household tasks. 


TAGS: Astro, Amazon