Astro in Action: Speaker 1: We’re gonna let Astro show off a little bit. It’s a cool product. It’s also a versatile product. How versatile you might ask if you were playing along well, let’s find out here’s everything Astro can do.
Speaker 1: We are in the process of testing the Amazon Astro. It’s a $1,000 home robot helper slash experimental product from Amazon, its invitation only right now, [00:00:30] but it could see a full release. The Amazon echo started as an invite, only product, but so did a number of other gadgets that never made it past this phase. If it does see a full release, the price is slated to go up to $1,500. That’s a big ask. Is it worth it? Well, that’s what we’re trying to find out. Check out our unboxing and initial impressions right here. This is part two of our process of putting this bot through its paces. We’re gonna document [00:01:00] everything it can do and see if there’s anything else out there that we’d prefer for that task. Let’s break this down by category. We’ll talk through its features as a smart home gadget. Then as an autonomous navigator, then as a security bot, and finally we will round up its unique tricks and Easter eggs. Check out the time codes below. If you want to skip around
Speaker 1: Amazon Astro is a useful, smart home helper. It has Amazon’s assistant built in so [00:01:30] you can issue voice commands to control any number of compatible devices. You can ask questions to find out the weather or the nearest place to get great Thai food. You can make Astro part of grouped commands called routines. Amazon’s been adding features to its digital assistant for years. So it’s pretty robust at this point. And Astro can take full advantage. What’s more, its face doubles as a touchscreen. You can poke it in the face and bustling and it won’t get annoyed by comparison CNET editor, Dave priest lost his cool. [00:02:00] After only a couple of jabs.
Speaker 1: After you ask certain questions, Astro will show you more info, pictures or illustrations. If you want to find info on local flora, if you want to control smart home gadgets, you can see controls pop up so you can make further adjustments. You can also tap the screen to access a smart home control panel on your own. If I ask Dave to, to tell me about the local flora or to turn off the living room lights, his response is dammit. Andrew, I’m trying to work. [00:02:30] You can make video calls. You can play music. We’re still on category one and its list of features is already super long. So is there anything else that can do all of that? Well, yeah. I just described any number of Amazon on smart displays. If what you want are voice commands and the touch screen, the echo show 5, 8, 10, even the wall mounted 15 are all a fraction of the price of Astro. We even like competing products from nest here and with all of them, you don’t have to bend over to [00:03:00] touch the screen. These features are a nice ad. They make Astro more versatile, but they’re not what help it stand out. It’s those wheels,
Speaker 1: Amazon Astro can map and navigate your home. Autonomously. A couple of things to note here, Astro had a little trouble with the initial floor mapping when we were setting it up, it didn’t recognize the railings as a wall. The sunlight shining on the hardwood caused its sensors to get mixed up. This is an experimental [00:03:30] product. Still check out our first impressions vid to see these first steps in action. And as we get more in depth with Astro’s ability to row home and map your home and recognize your face. Yeah, we have concerns about Astro’s privacy too. It is a cool leap forward in terms of technology. It is also kind of a surveillance nightmare. So bear that in mind and know that we will too. As we get closer to a full review and a verdict [00:04:00] for now, I’m gonna get back to showing the shiny robot in action.
Speaker 1: After a little trial and error, it did map the smart home in the app. You can even see the map. It may, you can then give it a tour and tell it the name of each room. You can use the app to edit and tweak boundaries and set no go lines. You can tell it to go to the master bedroom and it’ll find it. You need to keep the floors clear on its first tour, but then it does a pretty good job of sensing and navigating around new objects. In case you [00:04:30] leave stuff lying around again, by comparison. If I ask Dave to move to the living room, we have to have an argument about whether we’re calling it, the living room or the great room or the family room advantage Astra, but you should still make sure your family knows which room is which in the app or Astra is gonna get confused to.
Speaker 1: Is there anything else that can map and navigate your floors? Well, actually, yes, robot vacuums most will even show you a map in the app and let you edit and draw boundary lines, higher end robot vacuums. Won’t save you too [00:05:00] much money over as TRO, but they do clean as they navigate. On the other hand, Astro has a smart display attached. So here it depends on what you want as both categories combined features differently. Do you want your wandering bot friend to clean up after you or do you want a mobile smart display for video calls and voice commands on the gut? Astro’s mobile smart display is pretty unique. It even plays well with other echo devices. So you can summon it to your side with a command to a nearby echo [00:05:30] dot
Speaker 1: Astro can patrol your home as a security century. Yeah. Here’s where comfort level is gonna really start coming into play. Do you want a roaming security bot? Will that add to or take away from your peace of mind? It is useful for the right home. Astro knows your layup. So if you’re out and about, you can send it to a room with a tap and then you can look around with the cameras to its credit. [00:06:00] Astro gives out an audible warning before it shows a live feed. So it would be hard to use it to truly spy on people. That warning does cause a slight delay though, if you’re trying to see something urgently, you can also control it remotely and just move it yourself. You can raise the Periscope to check on top of the counter or make sure the stove is off. You can establish preset places called viewpoints that you’re concerned about checking and have Astro go right there with a press because it’s [00:06:30] mobile.
Speaker 1: It’s naturally that much more capable than stationary smart home cameras out there. You’d have to strap one to a remote controlled call are or a robot vacuum to have a similar effect. Astro can also learn faces and voices. If you have a ring security system, you can set Astro to patrol and it’ll ping you. If it sees a strange face, then you can sound an alarm on the bot itself. Thanks to Amazon’s guard program. Astro can recognize ominous sounds like that of glass breaking or the smoke alarm blaring. It can even help with [00:07:00] aging in place as part of Amazon subscription program that lets your elderly parent use the bot to call for help. You can even set it up to remind them to take their medications. There are plenty of smart home security systems out there and you can use smart speakers to similar effect with the aging in place subscription you’d need multiple cameras or speakers to cover the same space. Bear in mind. Astro has limitations too. It can only cover one floor, but there isn’t really an option that can cover multiple [00:07:30] floors. So it’s not like Astros behind here. Even the upcoming flying ring, always home cam will supposedly still be limited to one floor for now. If you want autonomous security, you can find comparable options that are smarter, that are more reliable than a robot.
Speaker 1: Introducing pepper, the dog, everyone
Speaker 2: I pepper.
Speaker 1: Now you probably could train a dog to act as a much greater deterrent than Astro ever be. I mean, [00:08:00] there’s such a thing as it guard and Astro is cute itself. But look at this face. The big difference here is training and maintenance. Astro learned the place relatively quickly and uh, and it poops way less note. I’m not actually suggesting that Astro is preferable to the lifelong friendship of a trustee canine compan. We’re pretty much through the tent pole features, but Astor still has a few unique ways to shine. It can do the robot, check this out [00:08:30] A robot, doing the robot. What a world. Is there anything else that can and possibly hope to match that
Speaker 2: Maybe
Speaker 1: Not. Then Astro might have us on this one.
Speaker 1: It can take a selfie. No human could possibly replicate such a feat. Also check this out. It knows the layout. It knows my face so it can bring me a drink. [00:09:00] It even has a cup holder attachment. It can follow you around. I mentioned video calls and playing music. Imagine having a speaker that can bring the party with you, it will come hang out with you when it’s bored seriously. After a while, it will just roll and find an out of the way spot near you. So it’s close hand. Astro has a lot of stuff built in and I haven’t even talked about its cute eyes and R two D two noises that imbue it with personality. I anthropomorphize most of my electronics, this thing, boy, I’ve got [00:09:30] some affection for it, despite my better judgment. Now, is it hard to take us selfie on your own?
Speaker 1: Is it more efficient for Astro to bring me a beer or for my producer Hobi to just toss me one bear in mind, Astro can’t actually fetch it. Hobe needs to put it in place and give the command. We’ve also seen Astro get stock time. And again, it doesn’t always respond to commands right away. We’re tough on it with all of the video equipment we move around, but it’s clearly a work in progress [00:10:00] still going through. All of these features is undeniably impressive. The next thing to do is see how it performs at all of these tasks over time and assess if it really does save time and effort and also see how it interacts with a family. Yeah, we’re gonna let Dave’s kids have at it. So stay tuned. Dave’s gonna have a full review video shortly and thank you very much for watching. Please hit that thumbs up button. If you enjoyed the video and subscribe to C’s [00:10:30] YouTube channel for more check out the link below, if you want see Astro at Amazon. And if you want to that first impressions video, where we unbox it and go through setup, check it out in the box right here. Thanks again.