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Amazon astro 3

Amazon’s New Astro Robot is More than Just an Alexa on Wheels

September has been a big month for the tech titans. After Apple and Microsoft unveiled their next generation of devices, Amazon has followed suit, dropping new information about its upcoming home gadget lineup. But while the upgrades to the Echo and Ring ranges were warranted, it was a plucky little robot that stole the show. The new Amazon Astro is a Wall-E like robot that promises to be more than just an Alexa on wheels.

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Amazon astro 4

Image: Amazon

Unveiled as a sneak peek at the end of the fall event, the new Amazon Astro takes all the elements we’ve long feared from science-fiction and wraps them up in one cute little package. Astro has the ability to map out your floor plan at will, whilst also following voice commands. For Alexa users, that hardly seems like a step-up, but the prospect of an agile friend on-demand does come with its benefits.

By all accounts, Amazon has designed the Astro as a companion robot with the capabilities to improve day-to-day life for the elderly or disabled, a notion confirmed by the initial marketing images. The rolling addition can cruise on up and kickstart a video call, all without you needing to get up. In fact, not moving at all appears to be the major focus.

With Astro’s computer vision, you can summon the robot and view what is going on in your house while you’re away. It even features a dedicated ‘periscope’ that pops up to check hard-to-reach areas and can be accessorised with the Furbo Dog Camera that can toss treats to your pet. According to CNET, other handy additions include a Ziploc container, an Omron blood pressure monitor and a detachable cup holder.

Amazon astro 1

Image: Amazon

Now, it must be said, when it comes to robot companions that know your inner-most secrets, it’s natural to feel a little concerned, but Amazon says Astro doesn’t mark the start of the incoming autonomous robot revolution. Instead, the tech giant says Astro will respect your privacy, implementing the same standard privacy features seen in Alexa. Further to that, owners will be able to denote no-go zones for Astro and can implement do-not-disturb features to minimise how much Astro moves at certain times of day.

While we don’t really know what impact Astro will have on the global market, what we do know is the price. In a somewhat unexpected reveal for a sneak peek, Amazon confirmed that the new Astro robot will be remarkably affordable. The tech company has opened a waiting list for Astra with the robot priced at USD$1,000, but perhaps even more bizarrely, the brand has already outlined plans for an Astro 2.

For Amazon fans, the new robot companion is just another innovation in the company’s quest to stay on top of digital evolution, and with robotics predicted to be a major disruptor in almost every industry moving forward, it makes sense. Whether this marks Skynet 2.0 or not, we’ll have to wait and see, but one thing is for certain – The robot uprising has never looked cuter.

Amazon astro

Image: Amazon

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About the author

About the author
DIGITAL EDITOR

Nick Hall

Nick Hall is the Digital Editor of Man of Many and an accomplished journalist. He completed a Bachelor of Creative Industries at the Queensland University of Technology, with a double major in Journalism and Music. Prior to working at Man of Many, Nick spent two years as a journalist with Inside Franchise Business, focusing on small business, finance and legal reporting. In 2021, Nick was named B&T's Best of the Best Journalist of the Year. With an extensive background in the media industry, Nick specialises in feature writing, fashion, lifestyle and entertainment content. A qualified barber and men's stylist, Nick also holds a Cert III in Barbering from the Queensland Hairdressing Academy.