Surprisingly, Amazon had not announced a robot yet. But today, that all changed. As Amazon announced its first robot, Astro. And it’s very clear that it took a lot of inspiration from Sony for this robot.
It does look somewhat similar to the Sony Aibo, even though it is not a dog like the Aibo. It uses the same colors and same relative design. And it also grabbed the name from one of Sony’s most popular games. So we may see it get renamed at some point. But it is available by invite-only, so it is actually a product that people will be able to buy. Unlike a lot of other robots we see.
Astro will cost $999 and is a Day 1 product. So you have to get an invite to buy it.
How big is Astro and what can it do?
Astro is about two feet tall and weights in at about 20 pounds. It is able to navigate your home pretty easily, thanks to its large 12-inch diameter wheels. That’s large enough to clear door thresholds and also move over carpet. It can also zip around pretty fast at up to one meter per hour. Of course, it can move around in 360-degrees, as well as forward, back and side to side.
Astro’s face is literally an Echo Show 10. So of course, Alexa is built in here. And it has a wide array of sensors in the bezel. There’s a 5-megapixel camera for video calling. Most of the time, the display will have “eyes” displayed, so you can understand what Astro is doing or where it is planning to go.
Basically, Astro is an Alexa that can move around in your home when you’re not there. So it can check in on what’s happening. It can also take care of others when you’re not at home and keep you updated on what’s happening. It’s like having Alexa with you, wherever you go.
It’s a somewhat neat idea here, but it’s unclear how well this will work. It’ll likely see a lot of changes before it is out of the invite-only stage.