Amazon took advantage of its hardware event this week to show off some fresh ideas for Astro, its 2021-launched robot. The hardware will not receive any news, but the device will gain some utilities via software, such as pet detection and security features.
Astro is a device that moves around the house on two wheels, and has a camera and a screen. The screen shows information that may be useful. The camera, on the other hand, is for capturing anything that the device finds unusual, and that is worth your attention.
Amazon says customers who have purchased the Astro have been using the robot to accompany elderly family members, with the Alexa Together program, which offers services like fall detection and emergency calls.
Other consumers have connected Astro with Ring Protect Pro to ensure their home or shop is safe.
For now, Astro is part of Amazon’s Day 1 Editions project, which brings together devices still in the testing phase. Therefore, it is only available to guests and in the US only.
The company now offers more features for interacting with cats and dogs, and new functions to protect the home and business.
Starting with the pets. Astro can now detect cats and dogs while roaming around the house.
Upon finding your pet, it records a short video and sends a notification on your cell phone.
Then, you can start a video call, whether to see if everything is okay with the animal, or just to kill the longing while you don’t come home.
Checking doors and windows
Another use that Astro will gain is being able to check if the doors and windows are closed. The robot learns which door is the front, back, bathroom, kitchen, living room, and so on.
Astro will not only alert you if your doors are closed. It can also learn which ports to stay open. Amazon gives a good example: if your cat’s litter box is in the bathroom, that door cannot be closed. If Astro notices that someone has closed it, it sends an alert.
More security features
Amazon has also improved the integration between Astro and the security-focused Ring ecosystem. The robot can now function as a lookout for small and medium businesses.
The company gives the following example: if the store or office is alone and someone disables the front door alarm, the robot goes to the place to see what is happening.
And the customer doesn’t have to worry about checking: with the Virtual Security Guard service, a specialized team checks the images and takes the appropriate measures, such as calling the police.