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When Amazon first unveiled Astro, many critics were skeptical about the home assistant robot’s safety, functions, and technology. After listening to the market, the conglomerate has put these qualms to rest as they continue to make upgrades on Astro and improve the overall performance of the robot tremendously — perhaps even upstaging Alexa in some aspects.
Looking at the current features and commands of Amazon’s Astro, one can say that it’s like seeing Alexa on wheels. Here’s a list of what Astro can offer as your personal robot assistant at home.
The security of the Astro home assistant robot is possibly the biggest selling point for many. Astro can act as an added in-home security feature for a homeowner who may be in or out of the house.
While Astro has a virtual face that can flash on its screen, the home assistant robot actually has a periscope camera that acts as its AI eyes that will be on the lookout for you. It can go around the house, check for any doors and windows left open, and even check on your kids and pets. If you’re also one to worry if you left the stove open or any other appliance, you can also have Astro check on it and send you a photo for confirmation.
The Astro home assistant robot can also be paired with a Ring Protect Pro subscription using Alexa Guard. This gives you another security layer as Astro can send you notifications to your phone if there are any intruders or suspicious activity happening outside your doorstep.
Although it’s no robot vacuum, the Astro can run errands that will make your life at home easier and more efficient. Using Alexa-powered voice commands, you can direct Astro to run tasks in various parts of the house.
Functioning as a home assistant robot, Astro can deliver items, charge your phone, create to-do lists, prompt reminders, and follow a person in case any assistance is needed. Astro also has facial recognition technology that will also allow it to find and remember people at home.
For pet owners, Astro can be conveniently paired with a Furbo pet camera to monitor your furry pals at home. If you’re away but want to give your dog or cat a treat, then the Astro paired with Furbo can launch them a treat for you.
Further fulfilling its duty as a home assistant robot, the Astro can help in facilitating communication tasks for you. The Astro can set video calls with your friends and family, and even follow you around the house as you do this, personally relay messages to people at home, and make emergency calls.
When you have a robot at home, it’s only natural for you to expect that it can also entertain you or play with your kids. Fortunately, Astro is a home assistant robot that also knows how to have fun amidst the work it has to do.
You can command Astro to dance with you as it simultaneously plays a song of your choice, beatbox as you rap, and even imitate various animal sounds. If you want to commemorate all these moments, you can even ask Astro to take a selfie with you. If you want to watch a show or movie while you’re running tasks around at home, you can have Astro follow you as it streams your program of choice on its screen.
Just for added novelty, Astro even has virtual facial expressions that will be shown on its screen. Overall, this supersedes what Alexa can do in terms of entertainment and in a sense, companionship.
The Amazon Astro definitely upstages Amazon’s Alexa when it comes to performing manual tasks. Primarily, Alexa is an AI voice assistant so it will perform less than a home assistant robot even if the Astro is powered by Alexa. Ultimately, the requirements you need will determine which one of the two can be more useful — but one cannot deny just how impressive Astro is looking right now.
As Amazon continues to make upgrades and improve on Astro, the home assistant robot is currently by invitation only for a hefty $1,000 price. Once it becomes available to the mainstream market outside of Amazon Day 1, the price tag is said to increase to $1,500. With such an increase, we are left wondering what other features may we expect from Astro.