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Astro, Amazon's controversial little robot capable of patrolling the house

Astro, Amazon’s controversial little robot capable of patrolling the house

This is a little Alexa On coasters. On Tuesday, Amazon released its first robot assistant, Astro, which can detect intruders or test whether Grandma is okay. Former engineers involved in the project have denounced it as a “dream of privacy” if this type of accessory proves to be very effective.

The roller craft maps a house and responds to voice commands by pointing its camera in one room or another. He can recognize faces, learn the habits of household members, and remind everyone of their activities. Video conferencing is evident in the project with the 10-inch screen, which conveys to the robot its personality and emotions through its eyes and moans.

At 60 centimeters tall and weighing less than 10kg, it will initially cost $ 1,000 in the US – for a select few Amazon users – and then about $ 1,450.

In a promotional video released Tuesday, Amazon vice president Dave Limp said, “When you’re out of the house, you can use it to patrol your home.” The Astro can also be used with elderly relatives to test whether it is doing well with its periscope camera. “This is science fiction truth,” Suri Matula, who worked on the project, said in an Amazon video.

“Dream of Privacy”

During a press conference, Dave Limp wanted to make a promise. He said users could lock the robot’s lenses and microphones, which would make a sound and display messages if someone tried to hack it. He added that Amazon did not have access to Astro’s remote cameras, so “this access can never be given to police or emergency services.”

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“In some situations, a home surveillance camera like this can be useful,” said Matthew Quariclia, a researcher with the NGO Electronic Frontier Foundation, which protects human rights online. But he points out that this device can also be used as a Trojan horse for hackers or police.

Former employees have also disclosed internal documents Or site motherboard Sentry describes the tracking system, which records an astronomical data and activates automatically if the robot does not recognize a person after 30 seconds. According to them, the facial recognition system has major failures, and Astro promises to be the “dream of privacy”. They finally predicted that the robot, despite having a function to prevent it, would “make sure to fall down the stairs”.