Folks. It is true! Our future will be one foretold by I, Robot (2004, 20th Century Fox) where robots will be rubbing shoulders with us in our homes. Granted this household robot by Amazon, called Amazon Astro, is not bipedal and does not have arms like Sonny. However, it is as close as we will get to a robot-filled future.
If that’s your jam, then the Amazon Astro Alexa-powered Household Robot is a good start but only if you have US$1,000 to spare because it will cost US$999.99 when it becomes available later this year.
As far as the hardware goes, Astro is nothing groundbreaking, really; it is basically an Alex display with wheels that allows it to roam around the home. It features an upwards extendable camera that lets it see more than just your feet. By extending the camera, Astro is able to check on objects that are significantly taller than it is.
Astro can be your home security guard too, but you will have to be sub to the Ring’s Protect Pro which, if you ask me, I think should come as standard. I mean, even some robot toys are able to do patrol duties and alert you of intruders, and so…
But to be fair, Astro is not a toy; it can also detect alarms set off by smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, or when the glass breaks. When an anomaly is detected, it will send notifications to you.
With Astro, you can say that Alexa finally has a physical form. That said, it is still the Alexa you have known. This means you can issue voice commands. You know, the usual, but with a boon of it following you as make a video call and walking around (if that’s how you make calls).
Astro is more than just a (creepy?) armless and legless butler; it can be outfitted with a variety of accessories to expand its scope. Accessories may include a Furbo Dog Camera that can dispense treats to your pet, a Ziploc container (?), Omron blood pressure monitor, and a, ermm, removable cup holder? OK. Save for the Furbo, those accessories may be a stretch, IMHO.
It is worth noting that the aforementioned price tag is an introductory price. After that, Astro will cost US$1,499.99. There is a couple of other catches here: it is available only in the U.S. and available exclusively by invitation. If you are keen, you can learn more HERE.
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