It is no news that amazon has released a smart home robot called Astro which can perform simple home tasks, like security and monitoring. This robot was launched late last year, for an initial price of $999 for early customers and later for $1500.
Photo Credit: Amazon
Now, my thought is; is this robot really worth the price of $1500? Before we can determine this, let us look into the features of the robot. What it can do, the pros and cons with my personal thoughts on this robot.
First, there are two kinds of robots which is based on their purpose and functions. These robots are made to perform task either for general purpose or for a specific purpose. Specific purpose are common robots that does specific task. i.e you have your home camera which is for taking video records of activities in your house, we have your speakers, and all other robots you might think of.
While General purpose are what we call the next generation robots which can perform multiple task. it can monitor your home, take on errands, and do a lot of multiple features.
So where is Amazon Alexa robot Categorized? AND WHAT ARE ITS FEATURES?
I categorize this robot as a general purpose robot because it performs a lot of features and one of them include performing the function of a camera in your house. You can monitor what goes on in your house while you aren't at home.
Photo Credit: Amazon
The Astro bot has the ability to move around the home and take video records of activities in your home. One of the most interesting things about this robot is it has a Sound Detection sensor that detect sounds i.e. Fire Alarm, Smoke Alarm, and even the sound of a broken glass. Isn't that cool?
I almost forgot to say, you can set boundary restrictions for Astro. For instance, you may have a particular room you don't want Astro to get into. This is where the boundary restriction feature comes to play.
It is not only restricted to being able to take video records but also, has facial recognition features. You can simple introduce your family to the robot and it would store their identity. So it would be easy to send a message or info to any of your family member that is maybe in the other room or just far away from you.
Photo Credit: Amazon
Asides that, it has a small carriage where you can send beverage to a family member that is not close by with the help of facial recognition.
Also if you are not home, or maybe at work and not sure of the safety of your kids or let's say bothered on how your kids or elderly one would handle themselves on their own, these can be handled with a LIVE VIEW feature where from your phone you can communicate with those at home or check out what is happening in the house.
Photo Credit: Amazon
Another feature which you may find interesting is that the bot has sensors which AMAZON calls SLAM, i.e simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) in simple terms, it helps the bot know its location, it is just a simple mapping system it makes at your house to make sure it can navigate easily in your home. Moreover, it contains sensors to sense if there are obstruction across it's way. In fact, it recognizes changes in position of items in your home.
HERE ARE SOME OTHER FEATURES OF ASTRO YOU MAY LIKE!!!!
Asides from most of all these security features being performed by Astro, there are also much more cooler stuffs you can do with Astro and one of them is receiving notifications and calls from Astro. Astro can notify you of a message you receive or an incoming call.
It is not also limited to that, you can also receive video calls with Astro. So it is very easy for you to be chatting with friends and relative while you are cooking in the kitchen or doing something that requires your two hands.
There are other features like playing of music, and even asking questions or making searches. For instance you might not know how to make noodles, you can simple ask Astro to show you a video on how to make noodles.
SUMMARY OF ALL AMAZON'S ASTRO SMART HOME ROBOT FEATURES
- Detection: Recognizes faces, sounds, and alarms
- Live View: Check up on on things, and video calls
- Security: Monitoring your home activity when not around and keeping an eye on family members
- Watch shows, play music, notifications and answer questions While Astro follows you around
- Setting Boundaries for Astro in places it can go into
- Detect obstacles and also the SLAM feature that help Astro Maps itself around the home.
CONS IN THE AMAZON SMART HOME ROBOT
As you have seen most of the exciting features of Astro, there are some things we need to look into as well. From my research and look into things, many people do not really feel comfortable with this bot as they see it as a way in which Amazon is trying to get camera into our homes and maybe monitor our activities. Now tell me, are you interested in letting that happen in your home and letting your home activity being monitored?
Asides that, the Astro bot is on freaking wheels that means it can not go through high places and most likely climb through stairs. I know many people today leave in homes that maybe two or even three storey buildings. This is a disadvantage to them if they want to consider getting Astro into their homes.
Report shows that this robot is fragile as well. Just imagine your little child recklessly throwing an heavy item on Astro. That's practically the end of your $1500 I must say.
MY THOUGHTS ABOUT ASTRO?
It is great seeing such renovation in this century. Astro is doing a lot of things and would be useful for so many homes though it has some barriers or should I say limit. It doesn't have hands where you can send it to pick something up the table for you or sending it to pick up your phone while you are faraway.
The fact that it is on wheels too is a very big disadvantage to many people. Do Amazon mean that those with two or more storey buildings would need more than one Astroy bot in their homes? Just imagine getting two of that; that's freaking $3000. The best alternative to enjoying most of these features Astro does is getting a Specific purpose Robot that would help you monitor, call or do whatever you want to do for a lesser price.
Also I am not totally sure about the fact that your home video footage would be shared with Amazon, but I think there can be a possibility because of how the world is today. We don't really know what is going on underneath.
Before you make your comments, watch this video by Amazon showing some of Astro's home features.
WHO IS STARSTRINGS01
Starstrings01 AKA Giftedhands is a Hive lover, a Nigeria musician (Guitarist) and also a student who studies Mechatronics Engineering in the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta.
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