Astro is equipped with a rotating screen that's mounted onto a base with wheels. Amazon designed the robot to appear animated and friendly, with eyes and expressive body movements that respond to user interaction.
The robot can move on its own from room to room and is capable of navigating around objects on the floor or braking to avoid colliding with obstacles such as a pet that moves into its path. A periscope camera attached to the base of the device can be raised or lowered to view objects that are high up.
Astro is equipped with Amazon's Alexa voice assistant. It can set and deliver reminders, serve up entertainment such as TV shows or podcasts and control smart home devices, among other tasks. The robot also responds to commands; so if users say, "Astro, beatbox," the robot will make musical noises.
The robot also has security and safety features. Through an integration with Amazon's smart home security subsidiary Ring, Astro is capable of autonomously patrolling a user's home while they're away. It can flag potential intruders and listen for things such as broken glass or smoke alarms via a feature called Alexa Guard.
For those worried about privacy, Amazon said Astro's camera, microphone and motion sensors can be switched off by pressing a button. Users can also designate "out of bounds zones," or certain rooms that are off limits to the robot.
Starting today, Astro costs $999.99 and is available via invitation only. Amazon didn't reveal a release date for the robot, but it said it will begin granting invitations later this year.
Amazon announced a home robot called Astro.
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