Amazon Astro, the wheeled home robot, is now in homes — and showing people what it can do

Tech

Photos and videos of Amazon’s real-world home robot Astro are starting to pop up as early adopters of the invite-only smart home gadget start playing with their new bot.

Surprisingly, despite the device shipping in November, only a few videos have surfaced so far. Bob Rekieta uploaded this video of his Astro rolling away after being ordered to go to the den with a beer on board (supposedly someone put that there, because this thing has no hands).

Astro brings Celeste a beer.
Screenshot of YouTube video by Bob Rekieta

Then Astro is told to “find Celeste”, and the robot tilts its screen disarming as it looks around with its round “eyes”. It executes the command, finds the beer-seeking resident of the house and displays “Hi Celeste” on the screen while watching her.

Matthew Nereim, a fifth-grade teacher in Florida, spoke to: Bloomberg about his experiences with his Astro which he received a few months ago. Nereim told Bloomberg he likes to control the robot from his phone and tease his dog with it.

It also lets Astro track him when he’s home, acting as a wearable Alexa smart display that can also carry drinks in the onboard luggage holder. “It’s like your own little R2-D2,” Nereim told Bloomberg† “My friends and family think it’s hilarious. They say, ‘This thing is following you?’”

The Astro is docked and showing its Echo Show-esque home screen.
Photo by Matthew Nereim / Bloomberg

Matthew Nereim’s dog with his new buddy Astro.
Photo by Matthew Nereim / Bloomberg

There are some issues, though, including the robot getting confused when looking for its charging base and when near stairs, Nereim said. Thankfully, it appears it never threw itself down the stairs — as reports that emerged when the robot was first announced indicated it could.

Nereim also told Bloomberg that he thinks the retail price of $1,449.99 is a bit high for what you’re getting (he paid $999 as an early lender), adding that he’d find $700 more reasonable.

Announced in September 2021, Astro is Amazon’s first home robot and is currently available for purchase through an invite program for $999. This is Amazon’s Day 1 beta program where users have the opportunity to submit feedback to help improve the device before it launches. goes on general sale.

Amazon isn’t releasing sales data, but company spokesman Patrick Santucci told: The edge Which “[they’re] seeing positive feedback and learning a lot about how customers want to use a consumer robot.” He also said it’s too early to say when the device will be more widely available.

Astro is a camera-equipped robot on wheels. You can access a live view of the video feed from the Astro app, you can control the movements remotely and talk and listen through the speakers and microphones.

It can act as a home security robot and send an alert when it sees an unrecognized person. With a Ring Protect Pro subscription ($20 per month), you can access video history for up to 60 days and schedule the robot to patrol autonomously and investigate the detected events.

The Verge got a taste of Astro in action last year.
Photo by Dan Seifert / The Verge

As shown in the video, Astro can learn the layout of your home and perform commands to move to a specific room. It can also recognize faces and deliver items to a specific person. As a smart display, it can play music, show the weather and answer questions.

Video calling is also available with a 5-megapixel camera, and Amazon said there are plans to work with third-party accessories to capture data such as blood pressure. Amazon is advertising the product as potentially useful for remote care for aging loved ones in conjunction with its new Alexa Together service.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.