Amazon’s head of hardware said the Astro robot, which was unveiled last year and only made available to a handful, is expected to become more widely available in the coming months.
Dave Limp, Senior Vice President, Devices and Services, said Amazon is still working on issues with Astro’s ability to find and reach customers’ homes.
Astro robot is coming soon
Limp said in an interview that the robot’s widespread availability “will not be in a year,” and that it will likely happen sooner, but he was reluctant to make a date, adding, “I think we are close, and we have some problems to solve, but they are easy.” The solution”.
Despite the ongoing work on the robot, “Astro” led the scene in the event of the unveiling of the new “Amazon” device on Wednesday, when the company announced its aspiration to turn the robot into a corporate security guard transform,
The announcement came amid the unveiling of a range of products; Among them is the debut of the Kindle, a sleep tracker and e-reader that allows users to write on digital pages.
Amazon’s Ring also unveiled some new home security cameras and other updated hardware. The new Ring camera, Spotlight Cam Pro, features the company’s most prominent new devices, launched at the event.
Relying on radar to detect 3D motion and panoramic view, features previously available in Range’s advanced doorbells allow a better picture of the surrounding space, but are now within everyone’s reach.
Regardless of Astro’s fate, home robots are poised to become a bigger part of Amazon devices, as the company announced last August its plans to buy IRobot Corp., maker of the Roomba device, for $1.65 billion.
But completing the deal still requires regulatory approval from many governments around the world, while Limp told Bloomberg TV on Wednesday that he was optimistic about completing the deal.
With a starting price of $1,000 and rising to $1,450 after the trial period, Astro will likely remain a niche product like Amazon’s Kindle or Echo smart speakers, but Limp and his team are considering plans for a broader release. The week, according to the interview, is that they are only trying to improve navigation capabilities, before Amazon rolls out the robot to all potential customers. Limp said the Astro robot could still be confusing if used in rarefied floor-to-ceiling glass rooms, or if located near a mirror.
Limp mentioned that Amazon had previously hoped to ship its first Astro units to customers who ordered the robot before the end of 2021, but supply chain constraints prevented that until late January or February.
According to Limp, adding sensors and four processors to the Astro makes it powerful enough to reassure Amazon engineers that it won’t fall down the stairs, but it has added to the product’s vulnerability to supply shortages.
“I don’t think we’ve made it, but I’m starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel,” Limp told Bloomberg TV.
He notes that hundreds of thousands of people have ordered Astro, but he’s not sure how many of those inquiries will turn into actual sales.
Initial reviewers and some customers said the device, which looks a bit like a tablet computer attached to a cup holder on wheels, was very attractive but lacked necessary features, and Limp said his teams are working to adding more personality to Astro’s answers. On questions.
He explained that he was also surprised by the companies’ strong demand for the device, which led Amazon’s Ring to envision Astro’s potential as a security guard.
Ring is working on a pilot project to expand the security monitoring service to take advantage of the capabilities of “ASTRO”, where the robot can review alerts, observe scenes with its cameras and notify the security centers contracted with “Ring” of cases in which it may be necessary to call the police, and “Ring” plans to test the service with a group of Small businesses over the coming months.
Amazon acquired Ring in 2018 and turned it into one of its hardware companies, in addition to using Astro technology, which adds more capabilities and intelligence to its security equipment.
The new radar technology in the Spotlight Cam Pro cameras from Ring allows for better measurement of body distance and alerts with greater accuracy, addressing the complaint of some Range owners about the possibility that current cameras and motion sensors set off false alarms.
The radar system helps the camera to more accurately identify objects or know if there is a person in the frame, and the panoramic view function shows an overhead image of the movements captured by the “Ring” devices.