Amazon Astro, the home robot with wheels, is now in homes — and people are showing off what it can do – The Verge

February 23, 2022 by No Comments

Photos and videos of Amazon’s home robot Astro in the real world have begun to emerge as early adopters of the invite-only smart home gadget start to play around with their new bot.

Surprisingly, despite the device starting to ship last November, only a couple of videos have emerged so far. Bob Rekieta uploaded this video of his Astro trundling off after being commanded to go to the den with a beer onboard (presumably that someone put there, as this thing does not have hands).

Astro brings Celeste a beer.

Screenshot from YouTube video by Bob Rekieta

Then Astro is told to “find Celeste,” and the robot tilts its screen disarmingly while looking around with its circular “eyes.” It executes the command, finding the beer-seeking resident of the home and displaying “Hi Celeste” on its screen as it looks at her.

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

He also has Astro follow him around when he’s home, acting as a portable Alexa smart display that can also carry drinks in its onboard cargo holder. “It’s like your little own R2-D2,” Nereim told Bloomberg. “My friends and family think it’s hilarious. They say: ‘This thing follows you?!’”

The Astro docked and showing its Echo Show-like 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, however, including the robot getting confused when looking for its charging base and any time it’s near stairs, Nereim said. Thankfully, it doesn’t appear to have ever thrown itself down the stairs — as reports that emerged when the robot was first announced indicated it might do.

Nereim also told Bloomberg that he thinks the retail price of $1,449.99 is a bit steep for what you get (he paid $999 as an early backer), adding he thinks $700 would be more reasonable.

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

Amazon doesn’t release sales data, but company spokesperson Patrick Santucci told The Verge that “[they’re] seeing …….



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