Ethical Robots?

Amazon's Astro is your very own robot butler

The robotic companion has eyes and has been given a personality to make "interactions more delightful."

Astro is the new home robot companion from Amazon and aims to be equal parts watchdog, elderly care assistant, and general smart home facilitator.

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Astro serving as the liaison between family members.

Primary uses:

Home Security — Astro moves autonomously around your house, can monitor specific areas, and provide a live feed of rooms through the Astro app.

Elderly Care — For those with older relatives, they can ask Astro to set and deliver reminders. When used with Alexa Together, family members can set up routines and receive alerts.

Embed with existing services — Astro works with Ring and can patrol your home when you’re out, investigate a detected event, and save video clips to Ring cloud storage.

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Intelligent Motion allows Astro to move autonomously

The technology uses advances in simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) to help Astro understand where it is, and autonomously navigate around dynamic home environments that constantly change.

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“We wanted to create a personality... out of the top 100 robots that people love, only five of them didn’t have eyes.”

Chris Green — Vice President, Design

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Throughout development, Amazon used feedback from hundreds of internal testers and sifted through media representations of robotic companions in TV and film to develop a unique persona for Astro.

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Feel safe leaving your home in the hands of this very small robot.

It’s got a compartment on its back for carrying stuff.

And a built-in telescoping periscope camera.

Aside from some new features and capabilities that allow for a personalized home companion experience, Astro seeks to further emphasize the existing features of your smart home. It brings all the benefits of Alexa, supports Visual ID (a computer vision feature that will allow house members to teach Astro to recognize them), and works in conjunction with Ring Protect Pro, a new subscription service from the home security offshoot.

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POV: You’ve just gotten out of bed for a late-night fridge raid.

$1,499

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Astro will cost $1,499.99 for standard customers but for those enlisted in the Day 1 Editions program, it will be available for $999.99 along with a six-month trial of Ring Protect Pro. The robot will be available in limited quantities and will ship out to U.S. customers later this year.

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