In addition to a new echo loudspeaker, a video doorbell and WLAN routers, Amazon surprises with a completely new product at its big innovations event: the Astro household robot.
Last year Amazon attracted a lot of attention with a flying household drone “Ring Always Home” (a drone that checks the house is in order). This time the Americans are stepping up – with Astro, a tablet on castors with a camera and lots of sensors. In contrast to the drone, Astro is primarily intended to be used when the users are at home.
“Soon everyone will have a robot at home”
“We believe that in five to ten years every household will have at least one robot,” said Amazon’s equipment manager Dave Limp. Until then, the group also wants to expand its strong position in the networked home with new devices and functions for its voice assistant Alexa.
The astro robot can mainly be used for communication and as a kind of mobile security system. The device, which is roughly the size of a vacuum cleaner, can also accompany older family members through the house, for example. The data required for navigation are completely processed on the device and do not go to the cloud, as Amazon emphasized. Permanent complex calculations are necessary so that the robot recognizes obstacles and, for example, does not fall down stairs.
The view into your own home
He himself tested Astro at home for about a year, said Limp. With the help of the device, for example, he can check whether his dogs are jumping on the sofa when nobody is at home. The robot’s camera can be extended to a height of a good one meter so that it can also look over pieces of furniture. A year ago, Amazon presented a small drone that can fly through the house as a security camera.
The group wants to initially make the astro robots available to selected users at a price of around $ 1,000. Other companies are also currently working on household robots – and are also thinking about machines with gripper arms that could take on simple tasks.
Astro will not come to Germany for the time being.