Amazon Introduces the Home Robot Astro
The American online sales giant Amazon has introduced an autonomous robot that is designed for home use. It's called the Astro, it's about 50 cm high, and it has a camera that makes it possible to make video calls. It can also be sent to various points in the home, using its built-in cameras to map and navigate it. The device's screen features two eyes to make it friendlier, and the robot itself resembles Wall-E's little brother from Pixar's children's film of the same name.
The first units of the Astro will be sold this year to a selected group from the waiting list. The robot is powered by artificial intelligence, and this was the most difficult part of its creation. "We had to use AI in so many new ways, including deep neural training to map attachment points throughout the home and build new dynamic localization and mapping algorithms that are constantly being refreshed," said technology director Dave Limp at the ceremony on the presentation of the robot.
Once again, when introducing a new product to Amazon, questions arise about the confidentiality of the data collected by the new machine. In this case, this issue is even more pressing after the robot goes around and captures the home of its buyers. The American company responded to these concerns by equipping the robot with the company's new chip - AZ1. It eliminates the need for voice commands sent to the device to be sent for analysis to a server, which will now happen directly on the machine. The robot also has several mechanisms, the purpose of which is to eliminate concerns about confidentiality and security. It can be set not to pass through certain parts of the home, and it is possible to restrict its movements.
According to industry experts, it will be difficult for people to accept the new robot at home. According to Matthew Guarilia of the digital civil rights group, the Electronic Frontier Foundation Astro is an iPad on wheels that will not have much success. "If anyone has always wanted an iPad on wheels to roll around their house, then this device may be of interest to them. But I think consumers are really aware of the risks to privacy, more now than a few years ago." he says. According to Ben Wood of the analyst firm CCS Insight Atro, it is the ultimate test of customer choice. "As with other Amazon products, there is no doubt that the Astro robot will become a major point in the privacy debate. But ultimately, consumers must decide whether they want this type of technology in their homes or not. This product will be the most the biggest convenience test against privacy so far. "
Amazon has also introduced a "virtual security guard" that will be available for $ 99 a month. The virtual guard is an Amazon worker who monitors what is happening in the home so that he can notify the residents in the event of an unusual situation such as a thief. Both the Astro and the virtual keeper are integrated into Amazon's Ring smart home management system. The latest addition to the company's list is a 16-inch screen that is placed in the kitchen and can be used as a control center for the Ring system.
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