The science behind Amazon’s new Astro home robot

1 min read

Amazon has launched a new household robot, which is powered by its Alexa smart home technology.

Astro, which was launched on September 29 during a virtual product launch event alongside many other new Amazon products, has been designed to help customers with a range of tasks like home monitoring and keeping in touch with family members.

According to Amazon, it brings together advancements in AI, computer vision, sensor technology, and voice and edge computing in a package that is designed to be helpful and convenient.

In this video, the team behind Astro talk about the key technological challenges they faced during the development of the new robot. The team had to invent an entirely new technology construct, one that integrates autonomous movement, home mapping, visual understanding, and more.

AI was leveraged in so many new ways, including using deep neural learning to map anchor points in the home, and building dynamic new SLAM (simultaneous localization and mapping) algorithms that are constantly refreshing.

Astro will be available for an introductory price of US$999. Customers can now sign up to request an invite. Amazon plans to start granting invitations and shipping the device a little later this year.

During the virtual event, Amazon also launched new Alexa features, Amazon Glow, the Echo Show 15, Amazon Blink, and the Halo View, Halo Fitness and Halo Nutrition.

Watch the full virtual event here.