Amazon's Astro home robot: everything about price, privacy, battery and more-CNET

2021-12-11 02:17:41 By : Mr. Ken Cen

Amazon's new Alexa-based robot is available for pre-order. Here is what we found about how Astro works, when you can get it, and what it means for privacy.

Amazon's Astro robot reminds us of Wall-E, the character of Disney Pixar.

The new autonomous home robot Astro was taken aback at Amazon's product launch on Tuesday. Since the launch of Astro on stage-effectively stealing the spotlight-we have discovered that this Alexa-powered robot has a lot to do behind its twinkling Wall-E eyes. We are not just talking about its talent for beats (yes, so is it). 

Charlie Tritschler, Amazon's vice president of equipment, told CNET that the company has big plans for this little robot (read the full interview here). According to Tritschler, Astro may eventually become a successful home robot and pave the way for uses outside the home, perhaps in an educational environment. Tritschler also talked about the future version of Astro, a version that can climb stairs and grab objects. 

That's right. Amazon may already be considering Astro 2. 

This is what we know about Amazon's new robot assistant so far. We will introduce to you what we have learned about prices (starting at $999 will not last forever), technical specifications, features and limitations, and potential privacy issues. 

As we gain more information, we will continue to update this story. 

Astro is a Day 1 Edition product, which means it can be obtained by pre-ordering by invitation. You can register now to get an invitation to pre-order Amazon Astro. The home robot was originally priced at $1,000. After a wider release, the price of Astro will rise to $1,450. 

Amazon says it will let you return to Astro for free. Amazon’s Astro return policy is consistent with its other products and devices: you can return your products "for any reason, in new and unused conditions," without paying shipping costs. 

You will start the return by going to the Amazon order list in your account and selecting the return method. If you have multiple choices, expand the list to see which is most convenient for you (for example, send it to an Amazon or Whole Foods store, Kohl's or UPS retail store). The Amazon website will guide you through the rest of the process, such as printing a return label if necessary.

This is a breakdown of Amazon Astro. 

will not. Amazon will only ship Astro to addresses in 50 U.S. states.

So far, Amazon has only said that Astro will be available later this year. When we have a clearer date, we will update this story. Presumably, Astro will ship to pre-order customers before January 1, 2022.

a lot of. Amazon said that Astro is like Alexa on wheels, it can monitor family safety, pay close attention to your elderly and young family members, and usually meet all your Alexa command needs as you like. 

The robot is designed to learn your habits and make them more useful in your daily life. For example, Astro uses a technology called smart sports to navigate your home and avoid furniture and pets, it should learn from how you use it. This means that when you are not using Astro, it will hang out and charge in nearby low-traffic areas. 

The robot can follow you to play podcasts and music, and it can also remotely view other people at home. Astro can also make calls, send messages, and set timers, alarms, and reminders. The robot even has a small detachable storage box, so you can use it to deliver items (such as a bottle of water) to specific people in your home by creating a visual ID. You can also video chat through Astro, and the bot will move with you, keeping you in the frame, just like the Facebook portal.

Astro can also be integrated with Ring's security alert system (see below for more details) to capture video clips of events and send them to Ring's cloud. Read on to learn everything Astro can do with Ring Protect Pro and Alexa Guard subscriptions.

The robot can detect sounds such as broken glass or smoke detectors and alert you. If you feel that you forgot to turn off the fire, you can send Astro to the kitchen for inspection. 

In terms of remote elderly care, Astro is reported to be able to recognize faces, find the elderly and provide status notifications to caregivers. In addition, with future Alexa Together integrations, you will be able to set up routines for medication reminders, write shopping lists, get activity alerts, or check blood pressure. 

Let your home know the latest automation, security, utilities, networks, etc.

We are not entirely sure how the application will work, but Amazon told CNET in an email that this is a key part of the Astro experience. The app-only for mobile devices for the foreseeable future-will give you access to Astro's maps, real-time views, and out-of-bounds areas. The app is also a place where you receive smart alarm notifications and remotely navigate your house to a specific room or preset viewpoint.

This is what we expect the Astro application to look like. 

The application image on the Astro business page shows different tabs for rooms, viewpoints, and people, as well as options to stop viewing, switch between locations, access camera and call functions, and sound an alarm. You can list the location of your home, such as restaurant, kitchen, office, foyer, etc. The images on the business page show options to open the map, access the timeline, start the live view, adjust settings, and use voice commands. The app also allows you to limit the locations where Astro can travel in your home and view the Wi-Fi signal heat map in your home.

In addition, according to Amazon, the app must be paired with the robot to access the live view, but there will be a delay before connecting to show you the mobile device controlling the robot. 

Hours after the launch of Astro, Vice reported leaking documents about potential flaws in Astro and its heavy reliance on facial recognition and user behavior. CNET has asked Amazon to comment on this report. 

Read more: Amazon's Astro robot is a lovely privacy nightmare

Amazon stated on its Astro product page that you can turn off the microphone, camera, and actions with the push of a button. Amazon told CNET that when you press the "off" button, the power to Astro's microphone, bezel, periscope camera, and depth sensor will be disconnected, preventing Astro from moving and capturing audio or video. In addition, according to Astro's privacy page, a dedicated red light will light up.

According to Astro's privacy page, if Astro is recording, the indicator light on the Astro periscope camera will be green-indicating that the video is playing.

Read more: Amazon's Astro may be cute, but security experts warn of privacy issues

Amazon told CNET that Astro uses local processing features, such as visual ID. Registering the visual ID is optional and stored on the device. You can delete the visual ID through the app at any time. If your face is not recognized within 18 months, Amazon will automatically delete the visual ID according to the privacy page. In addition, the data sent to the cloud is encrypted during transmission and stored in Amazon In the server.

You can also use the Astro app to set "out-of-bounds areas" through maps that Astro does not allow access. You can also use (or arrange) do not disturb mode to prevent Astro from hanging out near you. You can also delete and set the map in the app. According to Amazon, command phrases like "Astro, stop" are also processed locally. There is also a night mode option to keep Astro on the charger until you call it. 

Amazon said that home monitoring features and Drop-In need to be opt-in on the device. According to Amazon, Astro Hangouts will automatically open, but you can opt out. 

Astro can use smart sports to navigate your home.

If you activate the 6-month free trial of Ring Protect Pro, Astro will use its periscope camera to patrol your home, investigate any unusual activity and save the video in Ring's cloud storage for 60 days. If Astro detects something wrong-an unidentified person or voice-it will alert you remotely.

If there is no Ring Protect Pro subscription, Astro only allows real-time viewing, remote control of the robot and two-way conversation from the app.

If you return or unregister your Astro, you will lose your trial of Ring Protect Pro and may lose the access rights that follow. 

If you are an existing subscriber, this is what Amazon says:

If you are an existing monthly or annual Ring Protect Plan subscriber, your subscription will continue to be automatically renewed. If you assign Astro to the same location as the existing Ring Protect plan, after the trial period begins, your Ring account will automatically receive a credit equivalent to 6 months of payment (excluding tax), based on your current subscription. Proportional distribution. If you are currently in the free trial period of the Ring Protect plan at the same location where Astro is allocated, your existing trial period will be terminated to provide a 6-month trial period, and you will not receive points.

Using Alexa Guard in combination with Astro means you will receive smart alerts about smoke detectors, broken glass, dog barking, and outdoor sports. It can turn on and off smart lights, provide hands-free emergency helpline calls, and can sound an alarm when indoor activities are detected. 

Without an Alexa Guard subscription, Astro can still send smart alerts about smoke or carbon monoxide detection or broken glass, and it can operate your smart lights.

Like Ring Protect Pro, if you return or unregister Astro, you will lose the Alexa Guard trial version and features. This is Amazon's policy on Alexa Guard subscription:

For existing Alexa Guard Plus subscribers, when you activate the trial version of Ring Protect Pro, your subscription will be cancelled. After the 6-month trial period, you can subscribe to Ring Protect Pro or Alexa Guard Plus to continue enjoying the benefits of Guard Plus.

You can suspend your Ring Protect Pro trial benefit by unlinking your Amazon and Ring accounts on or using the Ring app. If you cancel your Ring Protect Pro subscription during the 6-month trial period, there will be no refund.

You can use Astro to video chat with friends and family. The bot will follow you during the chat, keeping you within the frame.

There are some things that astro can't do. For example, it is reported that Astro cannot climb stairs or go out. Amazon stated that Astro cannot send smart alerts with active sounds when investigating, patrolling or otherwise exercising. As we learn more, we will update this list.