Amazon is hoping to go full-blown Jetsons with a robot called Amazon Astro.
The company introduced Astro, which includes Alexa, computer vision and AI. Astro will cost $1,449.99, but as part of the Day 1 Editions program, it will be available for an introductory price of $999.99 with a six-month trial of the Ring Protect Pro subscription included.
"In 5 to 10 years every home will have a robot," said Dave Limp, senior vice president of devices and services at Amazon.
Limp said he has been using Astro for a year in testing to check on loved ones and pets. A periscope feature can check on objects and investigate activity. Via an app, videos can be saved to a Ring account.
Amazon's bet is that Astro can handle callings, find an elderly parent to chat and connect with services. Limp added that Astro is more than Alexa on wheels. Amazon highlighted how Astro has its own personality.
Limp said that Amazon added privacy features, do not disturb functionality and boundaries for rooms that are out-of-bounds.
For Amazon, Astro is an effort to create mobile smart home platform. It's not much different than iRobot's platform, which learns rooms and maps them.
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While Astro may be pricey rest assured that Amazon will bring prices down over time. Amazon cited home security as a use case, but aging in place will be a much larger trend. Robots like Astro can check in on elderly relatives and connect to a bevy of other Amazon services.
Key Astro features include:
- Integration with Alexa Together, a service designed to connect family members remotely and call for help if needed.
- Integration with Ring and Alexa.
- Astro has simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) technology to avoid obstacles.
- A dedicated safety processor.
- On-device processing.
- Ability to turn microphones and cameras off.