Amazon to sell household robot

Amazon has announced the launch of a new robot that helps customers with a range of tasks, including home monitoring and keeping in touch with family.

The technology giant said that the robot, named Astro, brings together new advancements in artificial intelligence, computer vision, sensor technology, and voice and edge computing.

The technology has a number of capabilities including a feature that enables it to check in on a user’s home while they are way.

Astro can move autonomously around the home, navigate to check in on specific areas, show customers a live view of rooms through the Astro app, or send alerts if it detects an unrecognised person. The robot can also help users check to see if they have left the oven on.

With Alexa Guard, Astro can also detect the sound of a smoke alarm, carbon monoxide alarm, or glass breaking, and send an alert to a customer’s phone.

The robot will also be able to help those who are remotely caring for elderly relatives. Astro can be asked to set and deliver reminders, or ‘Drop In’ with Amazon Alexa to stay connected.

When used with Alexa Together, a new service which includes customised alerts, 24/7 urgent response, remote assist, and fall detection response, family members can set up reminders and receive alerts.

The new robot can do everything Alexa does but is able to carry out these tasks while moving around the home, including information, entertainment, and smart home control.

The company said that Astro can follow people from room to room while playing shows, podcasts, or music. It can also take photos, notify users of incoming Alexa calls, and alert users when a timer goes off.

Astro can also be connected to Ring, the provider of security systems, including alarms, security cameras, and video doorbells. Astro can be set to autonomously patrol homes when people are out, proactively investigate when an event is detected, and automatically save video clips to Ring’s cloud storage, which can be reviewed from anywhere in the Ring or Astro apps.

“Do we think in five to 10 years that customers will depend on robots in their home?” wrote Charlie Tritschler, vice president of products, Amazon in a blog post. “That question was posed to me and my colleagues during a team discussion a few years ago about how AI and consumer electronics will be more helpful in our future homes.

“It was a big question, and one that’s hard to predict, but it led to an exciting and thought-provoking discussion about a vision for home robotics. As we went around the room, we all believed in a future where every home would have at least one robot helping with everyday tasks. As we wrapped the meeting, the message was clear: “let’s get started.”

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