1. Amazon’s Astro
Arguably the biggest news in the home robot sphere is Amazon’s newly-released home assistance robot, Astro (a name that’s a nod to the family pet in “The Jetsons”). If you’re familiar with Amazon’s Echo suite of products, this home robot is basically Echo Show on steroids. It can play music, make video calls, set reminders, and all the other good stuff you’ve come to expect from Echo and Alexa products — but it also adds mobility and further integration into your home security system.
From the home security perspective, Astro’s best features are its ability to use machine learning to map the layout of your home (only one 3,500 square-foot floor plan can be stored in its memory at a time), and to identify family members through facial recognition. Once it knows your home’s layout and its visual ID software has been set up to recognize household members, your Astro can detect unfamiliar people. It can become your eyes and ears, so to speak.
The Astro also integrates with the Ring Protect Pro. It can be used as an additional (mobile!) camera in your Ring Alarm System and can save video to your Ring’s cloud storage. Additionally, if you’ve set up your Astro with Alexa Guard, it can detect the sound of a smoke alarm going off or glass breaking, and alert you of the activity.
The Astro has some other helpful home safety features that aren’t directly related to intruders. It can find you in the house to remind you about a kitchen timer (great for fire prevention!), and it can check on an ill or elderly family member while you’re out of the house.
The price point is definitely on the hefty side at over $1,500, but you may find it worthwhile for the Astro’s novelty and functionality.