American eCommerce giant Amazon has launched Astro, a new household canine-like robot that can hear, see, and follow you around your home.
According to the company, the home robot can’t cook or clean like the animated figure from “The Jetsons,” but it can check if the stove is on while you’re away and send an alert if someone it doesn’t recognize enters the house.
Further, it can perform activities such as home monitoring, setting up routines and reminders, as well as play music and TV shows while rolling around the house. The snacks or a beverage can be placed on its back and carried to another area of the house, the company said.
“The device, which has digital eyes on a rotating screen mounted on wheels, is available at an introductory invite-only price of $999.99 and regular price of $1,449.99,” as per the reports.
Astro uses cameras, sensors, and artificial technology to avoid obstacles such as walls or dogs, and Amazon said “the machine will only get smarter as time goes on.” The company further added that a limited number of Astros will be sold initially, but didn’t say how many.
It was one of a slew of gadgets Amazon unveiled as part of its annual event ahead of the US holiday season. However, Astro was the star at the event.
During the virtual event, Amazon executive Mr. David Limp invited the 43-centimeter-tall robot on stage and asked it to beatbox. Its circular digital eyes close or widen when performing tasks, giving it a human-like touch.
Besides the robot, Amazon also unveiled a picture frame-like screen with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant embedded in it, which can be placed on a wall. Further, the company said that its Echo listening devices will be installed in Disney hotel rooms next year, allowing customers to order towels from room service or inquire about the quickest route to a theme park.