Just like a robot vacuum cleaner, Astro relies on a series of cameras and sensors to map the area around it, so it can move without bumping here and there. When the battery is running low, Astro will also move itself to the charging dock.
The household robot can also follow people, which means users can also use it for video calls while pacing around the house. Astro’s “face” is a functional tablet, with a 10-inch touchscreen and a 5-megapixel front camera.
Users have many ways to instruct Astro; directly use the touch screen, via a companion application on a smartphone, or it can also use voice commands. Astro is also equipped with Alexa virtual assistant integration.
Amazon equips Astro with an AZ1 neural edge processor, just like the one embedded in its Echo smart speaker line. In addition to speeding up Alexa’s response, the chip also performs the process of all AI-based tasks locally.
On the privacy, users can turn off Astro’s microphone and camera, as well as stop their movement by simply pressing a button on the top. Users can also determine which areas in the house Astro should not be approached through the companion application.
Amazon sees Astro as a potential product to become part of its home security system. The robot packs a camera that sticks out of its head and extends like a periscope, so it can monitor objects beyond its natural range, such as checking whether the stove is turned off or not.
If the user subscribes to the Ring Protect Pro service, Astro can even be instructed to patrol the house and investigate events proactively, as long as they are all on the same floor. It can detect the sound of a fire alarm or the sound of broken glass, and when unwanted things happen, Astro will immediately send a notification to its users.
Price and Availability
Regrettably, Amazon Astro is still not fully available for public consumption, because Amazon will only market it to select consumers in the United States by utilizing the invitation system. In the initial period of its launch, Amazon set a price of $1,000 for Astro, but in the future, the household robot will be marketed at an official price of $ 1,450.