It’s not the Jetsons, but it is a robot named Astro

28 September 2021

Introducing Amazon Astro, a household robot for home monitoring, with Alexa.

I just discovered Astro but wanted to share this as they are available exclusively now by invitation. Request an invitation. The Astro has limited quantities available so not all requests will be granted. And the Astro can only ship to addresses in the 50 US states.

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Check out why you should get an Astro:

  • Astro uses advanced navigation technology, called Intelligent Motion, to find its way around your home and go where you need it. When you’re not using Astro, it will hang out close by at the ready.
  • Remotely send Astro to check on specific rooms, people, or things. Plus, get alerts if Astro detects an unrecognized person or certain sounds when you’re away. Get push notifications from the Alexa app when Astro detects certain sounds like glass breaking, or smoke or carbon monoxide alarms.
  • Astro can follow you with entertainment or find you to deliver calls, messages, timers, alarms or reminders. Get your favorite Alexa features like news, entertainment, and routines — delivered right to you. Enable Amazon Kids on Astro for free parental controls, kid-friendly Alexa responses and more. On a video call, Astro can move with you, keeping you in frame. Create a visual ID to have Astro recognize you and bring you something, like a beverage.
  • The Alexa Together subscription (coming soon) allows you to remotely care for aging loved ones, giving you peace of mind while helping them live independently. Set up reminders, manage shopping lists, receive activity alerts, and more.
  • Astro protects your privacy by allowing you to turn off mics, cameras and motion with one press of a button and use the Astro app to set out of bounds zones to let Astro know where it’s not allowed to go. Learn more about privacy.
  • Astro is customizable with compatible products … it comes with a detachable cup holder and can carry other items (sold separately) like a Ziploc container, the OMRON blood pressure monitor, and a Furbo Dog Camera that tosses treats to your pet.

And why you might not want an Astro:

  • Astro cannot go up or down stairs.

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, Astro 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.

Astro navigates quickly and gracefully through your home using advanced learning algorithms and sensor fusion. It moves around objects with ease and keeps a safe distance from people, pets, and stairs. Astro will hang out nearby in low-traffic areas and go to the charger to top up its battery when needed.

During setup, Astro learns a map of your home that you can view in the app at any time. Simply tap where you want Astro to go, then raise or lower the periscope for a better look. You can even sound a siren if you see something suspicious.

This is no Rosie from the Jetsons but an interesting robotic addition to your home, especially the remote monitoring (and not airborne). I find the compatible options intriguing as I expect the accessory list to grow. I’d imagine some creative 3D printing techies will come up with some really interesting stuff, possibly home versions of Real Steel or Battle Bots. I’m looking forward to future versions that integrate with your Roomba and robot lawnmower as well.

What do you think? A crazy idea? The gift for the person that has everything? Version 1 of SkyNet? Would you buy one? Do you see it as useful around your house?

Let us know what you think in the comments, DMs and emails. More this weekend …

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Seasoned professional sports information technology executive with a passion for out of the box solutions to complex challenges.