Amazon Astro Can Patrol Your Home And Business
Written by Lucy Black   
Sunday, 02 October 2022

Astro, Amazon's diminutive wheeled robot, is no longer just a home robot. It security features now target small to medium-sized businesses and it has a new role as a pet minder.

dog astro

Astro, a robot that combines autonomous navigation and intelligent motion with a built-in Alexa, was launched a year ago when early adopters paid $999. At this year's Fall hardware event came news of new features and a new price tag of $1450.  

Available until now in a limited Day 1 Edition by invitation only Astro is described by Amazon as a household robot for home monitoring:

When you're away, use the Astro app to see a live view of your home, check in on specific rooms and viewpoints, and get activity alerts. When you're home it can follow you from room to room playing your favorite music, podcasts or shows, and find you to deliver calls, reminders, alarms, and timers set with Alexa.

Pet detection tops the list of customer-inspired new features. While patrolling your home, Astro will send you a video clip of what your pet is doing when it sees them, so you can then use Live View to interact with them.

In his presentation, Ken Washington, vice president of consumer robotics at Amazon, explained that Astro is is Amazon’s first device with a new multimodal AI capability that will enable it to learn about things in your home that you want it to:

“Based on what you say while Astro is looking at an object, Astro will learn about the object’s place and state in your home—similar to how humans learn. This will start with doors and windows, so that Astro can alert you if something was left open that shouldn’t have been.”

Amazon also announced a new collaboration between Astro and the Ring home security camera system, called Virtual Security Guard, as a way to further guard home and small businesses from break-ins, by video recording intrusions and calling the authorities. 

The news for developers is that Developers they will soon have the ability to create their own experiences for Astro, when Amazon releases the SDK that was used for the new pet detection feature. Amazon is about to start working with students in the robotics departments of the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Maryland, and the University of Michigan. Washington said:
“We’ll put an early form of the SDK in their students’ hands. These are some of the brightest minds in robotics, and I can’t wait to see what they’ll come up with."
Another announcement from the event was that Amazon is adding new functionality to the Alexa Together service, which allows customers to create custom alerts for their family members' daily smart home activity. According to Washington:
“That daily reassurance is also a BIG part of why we created Astro in the first place,”
adding that customers responded to Astro like they did to Alexa, loving the robot for its personality as well as its utility.

More Information

Amazon Astro

How Amazon is enhancing Astro for the home and beyond

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Last Updated ( Sunday, 02 October 2022 )