Science & Tech

Amazon unveils robot that can recognise your face and serve you drinks

Amazon unveils robot that can recognise your face and serve you drinks

Move over Jetsons—Amazon is bringing the future to the home thanks to their new home robot.

Called Astro, the long-rumored product has an introductory value of $999 but won’t be available to everyone right now.

Instead, Amazon will urge consumers to sign up for an account before inviting them to purchase the robot.

This allows Amazon to avoid producing too many devices that will not sell, as well as the flop around the Amazon Fire Phone, which was cancelled in 2015.

Astro will be available later this year, according to Amazon, although no precise date has been set. (It’s worth remembering that Amazon has made similar claims regarding future products that have either never launched or have been delayed significantly.)

So, what inspired the robot idea?

Speaking to Todd Haselton of CNBC, Amazon’s vice president of product, Charlie Tritschler, noted that the senior team comes together once in a while to talk about some of the changes and advancements in technology.

“One of the discussions was: ‘Does anyone here in this meeting think that in 5-10 years there won’t be more robots in your home?’ And everyone was like, ‘well yeah, of course.’ It’s like, well then let’s going,” Tritschler told Haselton.

That’s a pretty fair estimation.

What exactly will the Astro entail?

Astro is around the size of a small dog. It’ll roam the rooms and halls of your home on three wheels, including two large ones to prevent getting stuck in places, as well as a small one for rotation.

On its 10-inch touchscreen, it can follow you around and play music or broadcast TV programmes. You can pack two drinks in the back storage compartment and tell Astro to go to someone in the living room (it can remember faces).

Astro is a mash-up of a number of Amazon’s other devices mounted on wheels. The cameras, which combine Amazon’s Ring cameras with its Echo Show smart screens, may be used for home security or video communication.

When you first set up Astro, the cameras are also utilized to construct a map of your home. You may ask Astro for sports scores or the weather in the same way you would an Echo or Alexa.

The Astro can also be controlled remotely via a smartphone app, which is ideal if you want to keep a watch on a loved one who lives alone, such as an elderly relative. To stay in touch, your loved one can ask Astro to arrange and deliver reminders, or you can use Drop In.

As cool as this is, some of the downfalls of Astro don't have hands, so it is unable to pick up objects, nor can it go up and downstairs, which seemingly makes it a one-floor machine.

Once people got the first glimpse, they were instantly intrigued, believing it is "cute."

Others don’t really see the point of having the Astro.

Although it is interesting to have a robot grab you a snack or clean up after you, there are still many questions as to the cost and if we really need to have the technology in our lives.

Despite this, the future of robots is an interesting journey.

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