Amazon's little robot named Astro will keep a watchful eye on your home - and you

Amazon’s new Astro robot. Amazon

  • Amazon unveiled its home robot, named Astro, at its product event Tuesday.

  • Astro comes equipped with cameras, microphones, and a screen, and keeps an eye on your home.

  • The robot will cost $1,000 to start and is available by invitation only.

Amazon's home robot is here.

Named Astro, the robot is designed to keep a watchful eye on your home – and on you. The robot comes equipped with a periscope camera and microphone, as well as a touchscreen, and can autonomously navigate your house to investigate security issues or follow you around while you're on a video call.

Like many of Amazon's other Echo devices, Astro will be able to play music, videos, and podcasts, set timers, and answer questions via Alexa. Customers will be able to turn off the microphones and cameras, set “out-of-bounds zones” in their house, and turn on “do not disturb” in order to limit how much the robot can move around.

Astro comes equipped with its own personality that beat-boxes and makes pleasing squeaks and beep-boops, and it has eyes, because as Amazon's engineers noted in a video aired during Tuesday's annual hardware event, most robots in popular culture do, and that's how humans primarily communicate.

Astro will be the company's first robot, the engineers said, but not its last.

“In five to 10 years, we believe every home will have at least one robot,” Dave Limp, Amazon's senior vice president of devices and services, said onstage at the event.

Astro will cost $1,000 to start and come with a six-month trial of Ring's Protect Pro security subscription – it will eventually cost $1,449.99, Amazon said. Amazon said Astro will be available by invitation only and start shipping to US customers later this year.

Amazon has been building the robot for at least four years, Limp mentioned during the presentation, and had over 800 employees working on the project, which was codenamed “Vesta,” Insider's Eugene Kim reported in March. Employees told Insider that many felt highly skeptical of the project internally and one said that people were “worried it could turn into another Fire Phone,” a reference to Amazon's failed smartphone project.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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