Amazon has new plans for its home robot Astro: Guard your life

Still, last year’s pitch was that the Astro would make family life more comfortable and fun — a lovable, bumbling sidekick. This year, Amazon reinvented Astro as a device with a more serious mission: to give our pets, our homes, and our livelihoods another pair of eyes.

As with any surveillance technology you invite into your life, using Astro requires an element of trust. This time, however, you’ll extend that trust to robots that can move around your home. It may seem like a small change, but it makes a huge difference not only in how people interact with and view home robots, but also in how involved Amazon is in our private lives.

Still, Maya Cakmak, an assistant professor at the University of Washington and head of the Human-Centered Robotics Lab, said Astro’s compatibility with other aspects of Amazon’s home-monitoring ecosystem, Ring and Alexa, is likely to set the stage for its success. “Astro can deliver these services seamlessly,” Cakmak said.

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