Amazon recently announced Astro, a home robot that rolls around the house while it performs tasks like home monitoring, video chatting, music playback and transport (small) objects.
According to CNBC, Astro has three wheels and is about the size of a small god.
Astro isn’t a robot that cleans
It comes with a 10-inch screen and a camera on a 42-inch arm — this camera is used force recognition, home monitoring and video chat.
It doesn’t pick things up; instead, it has a back compartment where you can put smaller objects to be carried to someone else.
But this isn’t a household cleaner; Astro doesn’t clean your house, nor does it grab canned drinks from the fridge.
Astro is powered by two Qualcomm chip and has an OS based on FireOS and Linux; you can also speak to Alexa through Astro, so this is a robot that can accompany you if you’re lonely at home.
Astro sounds cool, but it has its flaws
However, a recent report by Vice revealed that Astro’s person recognition system is not perfect — developers have stated that their Astro robots did not function as well as expected.
A source who worked on the project also told Vice, “Astro is terrible and will almost certainly throw itself down a flight of stairs if presented the opportunity.”
Another source believes that the robot is “not ready for release” and is “a privacy nightmare”.
That being said, Astro can’t be bought online or in-store now — you can only get it from an invite-based rollout.
It’s priced at $999.99 and users will get a six-month Ring Protect Pro service — the usual price will be $1,499.99.
You have to request for an invite to get Astro; this process will require you to fill out a survey so Amazon can decide whether your house is optimal for Astro.
Perhaps Astro will be better in the future, but it doesn’t seem like a wise idea to get it now.