Amazon Astro: Everything Amazon Has Revealed About the Personal Assistant Robot

Amazon Astro: Everything Amazon Has Revealed About the Personal Assistant Robot

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It was only a matter of time before someone made a robot butler. Amazon, naturally, has become the first company to push a robo-butler into the world: the Amazon Astro. The device is set to function using Amazon’s proprietary virtual assistant AI, Alexa, and will be capable of doing a bit more than just telling you about the weather.

So, what is Amazon’s Astro? What will it do, what will it cost, and when is it coming out? While not all the details are available yet, the company showed off some of the robot’s functionality during Amazon’s product launch event on Tuesday. Let’s take a look at the adorable little robot to see what it’s all about.

Pricing and Release

At launch, the little robot pal will retail for $1,000. That’s about the same as a new flagship cellphone, so it’s not completely astonishing to hear that a robotic companion will cost that much. That being said, the robot won’t stay that price: the initial launch will be invite-only, and only select Amazon customers will be able to buy the launch version of the robot at that price.

The robot companion will launch sometime before the end of the year, according to Amazon. There isn’t a hard release date as of the time of this writing, however.

What Does It Do?

Amazon Astro is essentially an Echo Show on wheels. It’s able to move around your house, like a Roomba, and listen to your verbal commands. It can make a virtual map of your home so it knows how to navigate, and it will avoid high traffic areas when it’s not in use.

The robot companion features many different functionalities. Anything you’d use an Amazon Echo for is already built into the device. On top of that, the fact that the device can roll around your home means that it can do things like check up on family members when you’re not home, keep an eye on pets for you, and even tell you if you left the oven on before you took off for the day.

Privacy Concerns

Some publications have raised a few concerns about privacy. Imagine how distressing it would be to have someone hack into a robot that is equipped with cameras and microphones! However, Amazon has stated that the Astro has an off switch that will disable the mic and cameras with the push of a button, and you can even set up off-limits rooms in the official app to keep it from entering areas you want it to stay out of.

So, will Astro be the personal assistant of the future? Well, Amazon certainly hopes so.