Only hours after Amazon took the wraps off its pricey Astro robot comes a damning report alleges numerous privacy, navigation, and sturdiness concerns associated with the merchandise. Multiple sources who allegedly worked as developers on the Astro project made serious claims about the merchandise, with one going thus far on calling the robot “terrible.”
The claims were recently published by VICE’s Motherboard, which alleges that it acquired internal video recordings and documents associated with Amazon‘s Astro robot. The report also cites multiple insiders who are said to possess been developers on the Astro project, quoting allegations associated with the robot’s performance and privacy.
Amazon presents Astro as a “helpful, capable robot for your home,” one that’s intended to assist its owner to monitor their home, stay in touch with people, and access Alexa anywhere within the home. Among other things, Ring Protect Pro subscribers can use Astro to patrol their home get through, using the varied tech systems on the robot to research issues and save video clips for review afterwards.
The new Motherboard report paints a special picture, describing Astro as a surveillance device that works to spot anyone it encounters within the home, going thus far on follow around anyone it doesn’t recognize as they move throughout the house. Users have the choice to show this ‘Sentry’ mode off; when it’s on, the robot may, the report claims, do things like record audio and video of somebody identified as a stranger and upload the content to the cloud.
Beyond that, Astro will, the leaked documentation allegedly revealed, follow their owners around to find out their behaviours and things about the house, like where it’s presumably to urge saw by a person’s and where people generally congregate within the house. Amazon senior PR manager Kristy Schmidt commented on the report back to Motherboard, stating that “a lot” of Astro’s processing takes place on-device, which incorporates processing the raw sensor data and photos needed for the robot to navigate around the owner’s home.
Perhaps more troubling are allegations from sources who claim that Astro isn’t yet ready for the spotlight. One source claimed, “Astro is terrible and can almost certainly throw itself down a flight of stairs if presented the chance .” Other allegations include the claim that Astro’s “person detection is unreliable at best”, which the robot’s “feel fragile” for something that costs a grand.