Once a lofty idea relegated to the realms of science fiction, Amazon’s Astro household robot is on the brink of a significant upgrade that could bring our dreams of a Jetsons-esque helper into reality. Though we may be a way off from the beautiful creation that is Rosie, we are well along the path. Insider reports suggest Amazon has ambitious plans to integrate Astro with enhanced artificial intelligence, elevating its current abilities and usage in your home.
The Burnham Project
Amazon’s “Burnham” project aims to transform Astro from a smart home gadget into a true AI companion with an extraordinary memory. Astro will be equipped with the ability to recall its surroundings and the encounters it has so it can improve the safety of your abode. This isn’t a totally new technology—robotic vacuums have memory—but its implementation with Astro for the use of safety is something to note. Plus, Astro is cute.
Astro may be learning a few rather expedient things in the near future. If someone takes a spill and requires emergency services, it could swiftly dial for you, making it a potentially good ally for the elderly or disabled so long as the robot can also not be the tripster itself.
The ever-vigilant Astro could alert you to a faucet left running, or a stove left on. Astro may even lend a hand in finding your keys that seem to always be hiding from you, check for open windows, and possibly (discretely) let you know if your child brings friends home after school. Shh. Mums the word. What makes this robot a little more like the Rosie of our youth one ability it may have: identifying shards of broken glass and dutifully sweeping them up.
Waiting For An Update Shrouded in Mystery
The precise timeline for this update remains shrouded in mystery, though it seems this ambitious vision is a long-term project rather than a forthcoming release. At this time, Astro’s accessibility is limited, with a $1,599.99 price tag and sold by invitation only.
With the leaps and bounds AI is making at this time, it is an exciting time to watch the unfolding of these AI integrated smart home products and see just what companies are coming up with next. Amazon’s dedication to Astro is commendable and the robot certainly has potential to become a household name, like Alexa did with the introduction of the Echo in 2014.