From Wall-E to Terminator, we are all pretty familiar with the concept of a robot, but the thought of having one in your home seems a long way off, right? Well, not as long as we'd first thought.
Amazon has just announced a product called Astro, and if you haven't already guessed yet, it's a robot. Astro is a household robot that has been made to help you monitor your home. Despite its seemingly good intentions and cute face, we can't help but feel a little sceptical of a robot with the capabilities to learn a route around your home and monitor everything you do. (Smart home products aren't all scary though, check out our roundup of the best smart home devices for creatives.)
The tiny robot is equipped with all the functions of Alexa, a deployable camera, and navigates its way around your house via its wheels. In the video Amazon uploaded to YouTube, we see Astro perform a number of household tasks, including checking suspicious activity to prevent break-ins, deploying a camera to check the hob, following you when asked, and allowing you to Drop In (Amazon's equivalent of FaceTime) from it.
Astro was announced last night at Amazon's event (opens in new tab) where the e-commerce company revealed a handful of new products, from Hello Disney, a Disney themed smart home device to be installed at its theme parks, to Echo Show, an organisation tool that looks somewhat like a TV.
We aren't sure how to feel about Astro yet, while it looks cute and has some cool features like patrol or dance mode, we can't help but wonder if this is just a glorified Ring doorbell made to simply check bumps in the night. We are also wondering how Astro intends to climb stairs with its wheels. In a leaked document (opens in new tab) covered by Vice, developers of the robot supposedly called Astro "terrible" and said that it "will almost certainly throw itself down a flight of stairs if presented the opportunity" - so it doesn't look as though Astro is off to a great start.
Unsurprisingly, the announcement of a robot has sparked some buzz online, and users have flooded Twitter with their thoughts on the product. One user (opens in new tab) hilariously responded to the announcement with, "Amazon presents a new season of Black Mirror" and another said (opens in new tab), "how will it retrieve my butter sandwich with no arms?" which is a very valid point. The users over on Reddit also had plenty to say about the Bezos-bot.
The robot will set you back by $1450 when it is formally released later this year, so we doubt we will adding Astro to our homes any time soon. If you are looking to get your hands on some of Amazon's other smart home devices, then check out our best Amazon deals.