Amazon Astro: a robot that monitors your home

Amazon has just presented Astro, its first domestic robot. Packed with cameras and equipped with artificial intelligence Alexa, it will cost nearly $ 1,000.

Amazon Astro
Amazon Astro

Amazon invents the pet of the future

Amazon is a company that does not stop innovating, and that does not hesitate to disrupt the market with many projects. After the surveillance drone, here is  Amazon Astro, a small autonomous robot, which aims to interact with the whole family, but also with the house, ensuring safety when you are away.

With its three-wheel vacuum cleaner body topped with a screen as a head, the robot looks like an electronic pet.

“When you’re outside the home, you can use it to patrol your home,” Dave Limp, an Amazon vice president, said in the promotion video released Tuesday. Astro could also be used to check that all is well in the elderly.

If the robot detects an unusual situation, such as a person it doesn’t recognize, or a sound like broken glass or a fire alarm, it will investigate, including following an unidentified person around the house.

Astro: a controversial domestic robot

When a person purchases the robot, they should register their face and voice, as well as those of anyone who might be using it around the house. Astro is also supposed to learn over time: he has to keep track of what humans are doing, where they are going, and where they are likely to congregate. With such data collection, the question of personal data arises.

Finally, the developers themselves criticize the robot. Interviewed anonymously by  Vice, they believe that Astro is an  “absurd” device, a pure  “marketing” product full of technical flaws. Thus, the facial recognition system would not be reliable at all, although it is one of the pillars of Astro’s security promise. Recognizing obstacles and people would also be ineffective. Not terrible for a robot supposed to spot strangers. “Astro is terrible and will almost certainly throw himself down a staircase at the first opportunity,” said one of the developers.

Amazon plans to market its Astro robot before the end of the year in the United States and will sell it for $ 1,449.99. The first customers to pre-order it as part of the Amazon Day 1 Edition program will be able to afford it for $ 999.99.

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