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Amazon might be bringing AI smarts to its Astro household robot

Amazon Astro is one of the most intriguing products in the Amazon catalog — and a new report indicates it might become even more enticing in the future. According to internal documents, Amazon will be bringing enhanced AI to Astro, allowing it to perform more useful tasks around your home.

The AI project has been dubbed Burnham, and it’s hoping to turn Astro into more than just a smart home gimmick. Once the project is officially rolled out, Amazon hopes to give Astro the ability to better remember what it’s encountered in its environment and suggest things you can do to improve your home’s safety.

Amazon Astro robot.
Amazon / Amazon

The example given in the report details a stove that’s been accidentally left on. With Burnham, Astro will be able to identify the hazard, then report it back to a family member that can turn it off.

Here’s a quick look at some of the skills Astro might be learning in the future:

  • Calling 911 if someone is injured after a fall.
  • Alert homeowners if a faucet is left running
  • Help locate your keys
  • Check for open windows
  • Let you know if a child has brought friends home after school
  • Identify broken glass and sweep it up

All of these tasks look good on paper — but it’s unclear exactly when they’ll be rolled out to Astro. There’s no mention of a release date in the report, and it sounds as if this is more of a long-term vision than an immediate update. It’s also worth noting that Astro isn’t widely available, as you’ll need an invite to purchase the $1,600 robot.

Still, it’s great to see Amazon continuing to optimize the quirky robot. The smart home market hasn’t exactly grown stale (robot vacuums, video doorbells, and other cool gadgets are always being released), but a versatile smart robot like this would certainly garner more attention than your typical smart camera.

Here’s hoping we’ll learn more about the project sometime in 2023.

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Jon Bitner
Jon Bitner is a writer covering consumer electronics, technology, and gaming. His work has been published on various websites…
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