Amazon Astro home robot

September 2021

Amazon has launched Astro, a robot powered by the company's Alexa smart home technology and facial recognition that it says can be used to check on pets, people, or security when people are not at their homes. Astro is also able to patrol a home automatically, and to notify owners if it detects something unusual.

Leaked internal development documents and video recordings suggest the robot may perform poorly and be unreliable. Astro's designers worry that it is a 'disaster that's not ready for release' and that it may 'throw itself down stairs' 'if presented the opportunity'.

Operator: Amazon
Developer:
Amazon
Country:
USA
Sector:
Technology
Purpose: Strengthen home security
Technology: Robotics; Computer vision; Facial recognition
Issue
: Privacy; Surveillance; Safety; Accuracy/reliablity; Appropriateness/need