Amazon had a hardware event today in which it showed off a number of new devices it was developing. There were a few interesting reveals on display during the overall event, but one of the easy standouts was Astro: Amazon’s first home assistant robot. It’s an Alexa-enabled robot that will wander about and monitor your home, as well as providing all of the functionality that Alexa and providing interaction with its Echo smart display “face.”
Amazon’s Astro robot was one of the headliner products on display during a special hardware event hosted on September 28, 2021. Though the livestream was available only to international press, many of the products were eventually shared on Amazon’s Twitter. Notable among them was this two-foot-tall little robot that utilizes Amazon’s Ring security tech, Echo smart display tech, and Alexa to provide users with versatile robotic home assistant.
Besides being cute, Astro can help you monitor your home when you're away, check on your family and pets, and move with you during video calls.— Amazon (@amazon) September 28, 2021
Oh... and did we say it's cute? pic.twitter.com/HzKGu0mcqV
There’s a lot of things Astro will purportedly be able to do. Its treaded two main wheels and balancing back wheel are good enough to go over carpet and other rough floors and it can map out your floor as it goes and be called to various rooms. Astro can even use an extendable periscope camera to see elevated surfaces. With this, it will be able to alert you to issues like an oven being on without supervision. It can also recognize regular home occupants and provide some level of security.
Of course, as a first shot at a home assistant robot, there’s a bunch it won’t do. It’s not built for multi-level homes and can’t traverse stairs and it won’t clean up like a Roomba and doesn’t have arms or any sort of grippers to… say… turn off an oven left on if you’re not around. Clearly Amazon still has a lot to figure out, which is why Astro’s initial launch will be pretty limited. Specifically, Astro will be part of Amazon's Day 1 Editions program, in which users can sign up for an invite to purchase the company's various developmental products. If you're selected to take part in Astro's release, it will start at around $999 USD.
That said, Amazon’s Astro is an interesting first step towards a proper robotic home assistant. Amazon had other things to show as well. Check out the Ring Always Home Camera drone and more from the event, here at Shacknews.