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Amazon's New Robot That Follows You Around Your Home Is Getting A Hard Pass From Twitter

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Amazon Astro, a new technology coming from Amazon that can follow you around your house while also making facial expressions by using its display screen as a face, is stressing Twitter out.

The robot, which will run about $1000 per unit, has cameras built into its body, leading some people to fear observation through said cameras.

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Others just think the roads of technology have gone too far this time.






CNBC's description of the robot tells you exactly what to expect if you should bring it inside your home:

"Astro is equipped with a rotating screen that's mounted onto a base with wheels. Amazon designed the robot to appear animated and friendly, with eyes and expressive body movements that respond to user interaction."
"The robot can move on its own from room to room and is capable of navigating around objects on the floor or braking to avoid colliding with obstacles such as a pet that moves into its path."
"A periscope camera attached to the base of the device can be raised or lowered to view objects that are high up."






However, disquiet has already emerged from developer teams tasked with working on Astro, who have referred to the mini-robot as an "invasive spy" and "incredibly stupid."

"Vesta [codename for Astro] slowly and intelligently patrols the home when unfamiliar persons are around, moving from scan point to scan point (the best location and pose in any given space to look around) looking and listening for unusual activity," read a file from the developers.

"Vesta moves to a predetermined scan point and pose to scan any given room, looking past and over obstacles in its way. Vesta completes one complete patrol when it completes scanning all the scan point on the floor plan."

However, this capability does not come without a major pratfall. "Astro is terrible and will almost certainly throw itself down a flight of stairs if presented the opportunity," said a file.

"The person detection is unreliable at best, making the in-home security proposition laughable."






Astro costs $999.99 and is available to some customers via special invitation only.

The robot has not yet been given a wide release, but Amazon expects to grant more invitations later in the year if the initial rounds go smoothly.