The Astro robot, launched Tuesday (28) by Amazon, was initially designed to be a security device, said Dave Limp, the company’s hardware director, on the TechCheck program, aired by the American channel CNBC this Friday (1st). .
“We wrote a document in which we thought customers would especially like the safety aspects of a home robot,” said Limp. “Since then, it has evolved to cover a lot more areas than that, but that was the original idea,” explains the director.
The Astro is equipped with sensors that allow it to move smoothly around the house and around objects according to Amazon. The company began experimenting with robots in its own warehouses before developing a consumer product. The device took four years to develop, says Limp.
The robot has two Qualcomm chips that provide features such as visual identification, to differentiate one user from another and avoid accidents during movements. Astro can autonomously watch over the house, checking every room in the property, in addition to responding to commands and sending reminders.
The device will cost $1,000 for pre-invited customers. At launch, which will be limited to the United States, the Astro’s value will increase to US$ 1,500.
Devices developed by Amazon range from Kindle reading electronics to tablets, smart voice-activated speakers and smart TVs. But the robot integrated with the virtual assistant seems to be the most ambitious of all.
Limp explains that recent updates to smart home technology, such as sensors and processors, have allowed Amazon to consider launching an Alexa-equipped robot.
Amazon still relies on an e-commerce, cloud computing and advertising platform for most of its revenue. The company generally views equipment sales as a way for consumers to purchase other services, including streaming video and music.