Amazon launches home robot Astro and giant Alexa display

September 29, 2021
Astro moving around home
Astro is Amazon’s first attempt at a home robot designed to be a roving smart platform for Alexa, video calling and many other services.

Amazon has launched its long-awaited home robot, named Astro, that can autonomously drive around your home packed with cameras and a screen. Astro can map your home’s layout, recognise objects and check on loved ones and pets remotely using a series of cameras and a display on its front, featuring a set of expressive animated eyes.

The robot can handle video calls, recognising you and coming to find you when someone calls, and provides all the features of Alexa on wheels. But Dave Limp, head of Amazon’s devices and services, said “customers don’t just want Alexa on wheels so we’ve embodied it with a unique persona that’s all its own”.

Astro has a camera that extends out the top so remote viewers can see onto countertop and other places above ground level.
Astro has a camera that extends out the top, so remote viewers can see on to counter tops and other places above ground level.

Moving at up to one metre a second, Astro can also act as a security robot. It is linked with the doorbell firm Ring’s Protect Pro service, and can patrol your home, investigate disturbances and send an alert if it detects an unrecognised person. It can stop immediately if something suddenly moves in front of it, such as a pet, or when encountering stairs. Owners can set up out-of-bounds areas and turn off cameras and mics, while LED lights and the screen show when someone is viewing the robot’s cameras. Astro also processes images and sensor data on the device to help preserve privacy.

It will be available in the US to invited customers as part of Amazon’s Day 1 Editions early device programme costing $999.99 (£749) and will be one of the first domestic robots available, joining robotic vacuum cleaners and mowers.

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