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Amazon announces home robot Astro

Amazon has announced Astro, its first household robot.

The company has unveiled plans for the Alexa-powered device, which uses the smart home technology to offer help around the house.

In a blog post, Charlie Tritschler - Amazon's Vice President of Products - said: "Astro is a new and different kind of robot, one that’s designed to help customers with a range of tasks like home monitoring and keeping in touch with family.

"It brings together new advancements in artificial intelligence, computer vision, sensor technology, and voice and edge computing in a package that’s designed to be helpful and convenient."

The company has explained how Astro can help in a number of ways, including being remote controlled and using a built-in periscope camera to scout out the whole property.

Tritschler added: "Astro will be able to help customers who are remotely caring for elderly relatives and loved ones."

Astro will combined with Ring to provide added "peace of mind", while you'll have access to Alexa's features around the house as the robot can follow you from room to room".

Amazon has also been keen to address any potential privacy concerns, noting Astro can have established "out of bounds" areas, as well as a "do not disturb" option and buttons to switch off microphones and cameras, although it can't move with these deactivated.

There's also a fun side, with Tritschler noting: "During development, we realized giving Astro a personality would make regular interactions more delightful.

"We used feedback from hundreds of internal testers, and also took inspiration from film, TV, games, and animation principles to develop a persona that makes Astro unique.

"Astro uses its digital eyes on its rotating screen, body movements, and expressive tones to communicate."

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