Amazon has announced a robot for the home. The Astro robot is a smart assistant on wheels and, according to Amazon, is able to perform various tasks in the house, such as bringing objects, playing music and answering questions.
The robot assistant was shown at an Amazon exclusive event, which The Verge also attended. According to the medium, Astro is in an Amazon Echo on wheels. Amazon claims that Astro can navigate to different rooms in the house, as long as they are on one level. Astro can be used, among other things, to make video calls, play music or request the weather forecast.
Astro is equipped with a 10″ touchscreen and drives around on wheels with a diameter of 30 cm. The robot weighs about 9 kg. The screen has a 5-megapixel camera at the top of the bezel with which you can make video calls. Although you will have to bend down for that , since the robot is just below the knee in an adult. Fortunately, the robot also gets a 12-megapixel periscope camera, which allows more calls at eye level when you are sitting on a chair, for example.
Furthermore, Astro has a container in which small objects can be placed. Then Astro with its load can be sent to a specific location in the house via a voice command. So you can bring a small object to a roommate without having to get up. That is also one of the few extra applications that Astro seems to have compared to a regular Amazon smart speaker. For example, the robot does not have an arm with which to perform functions, and Astro cannot go outside or up the stairs.
Amazon wants to continue to develop Astro and to produce the robot on a large scale in the next phase. The manufacturer expects the final price for the consumer to be $1500. Amazon plans to release a first version of Astro later this year. This first version will cost $999.