In connection with its latest hardware event, Amazon has presented the Alexa-powered robot Astro, reports The Verge.
The robot is just over half a meter high and weighs about 10 kg. Through five different motors, it can move freely in 360 degrees and also over door frames and carpets. However, it cannot handle stairs or stay outdoors. Nor can it open things like doors or drawers on its own. The top speed is one meter per second.
An Alexa screen doubles as the robot’s animated face. At the edges of the screen are a number of different sensors and a 5 megapixel camcorder. Astro also has two speakers of two inches each and a passive resonator for better bass.
There is also a 12 megapixel periscope camera that can be raised up to 106.8 centimeters and can be used for video calls or to see what is going on in the home.
The robot also has a storage space that can carry 2 kg of cargo. There is also a usb-c port that can be used to charge a mobile, for example.
Astro handles its own battery charge and can connect itself to its charging station. The battery is fully charged in about 45 minutes and is enough to drive around for two hours.
All navigation equipment is inside the robot itself, so no external markings are needed for it to orient itself. Instead, it can map a home and all the rooms in it on its own. Through the Astro app, the user can then classify different rooms and set restrictions. You can call Astro either via the app or by voice activation.
Amazon says that all data management takes place locally on the device and that nothing is saved in the cloud. For security reasons, Astro can only be connected to one mobile at a time.
The idea is that Astro can be used for home surveillance, to help the elderly at a distance and for general increased comfort in everyday life. Amazon notes, however, that more uses can be discovered later.