Amazon’s Dave Limp says Astro home robot started as security device

Amazon’s Dave Limp, who runs the e-retailer’s {hardware} division, mentioned the corporate’s soar into house robots this week began with a give attention to safety after which developed right into a product that may additionally ship a drink or take a video name.

“We wrote a doc the place we thought clients particularly would really like the safety features of a house robotic,” Limp advised CNBC’s Jon Fortt in an interview that aired Friday on “TechCheck.” “It since has developed to cowl far more floor space than that, however that was the unique form of concept.”

Amazon has constructed an array of {hardware} units over time, from its early Kindle e-readers to fashionable tablets, voice-activated good audio system and a wise TV. However its newest machine, an Alexa-powered robotic referred to as Astro, could also be its most formidable but.

Amazon unveiled Astro on Tuesday at its annual hardware event. The corporate began experimenting with robots in its personal warehouses earlier than finally growing a shopper product. Limp mentioned Amazon spent the previous 4 years engaged on the machine.

Astro is full of sensors that enable it to navigate easily all through the house and round objects, Amazon mentioned. It contains two Qualcomm chips that energy options resembling visible ID, which permits it to acknowledge one consumer from one other. Astro can patrol your house autonomously, reply instructions and serve up reminders.

Whereas Amazon has usually focused the thrifty with its lower-cost Echo audio system and TV streaming sticks, the Astro begins at $1,000 for customers who get an invite for early entry and can value $1,500 for many who purchase it at launch.

“We nonetheless discover a few of our highest quantity merchandise are those which are round $50,” Limp mentioned. “That being mentioned, a few of these manufacturers have been round for some time, and as that occurs, clients ask us so as to add extra options.”

Latest upgrades in smart-home expertise resembling sensors and processors allowed Amazon to think about launching an Alexa-powered robotic, Limp added.

“The mix of that kind of bought us enthusiastic about, properly, we must always get began on this,” he mentioned.

Amazon nonetheless counts on e-commerce, cloud computing and now promoting for the majority of its income, and it does not escape machine gross sales. The corporate typically views units as a strategy to get shoppers to make use of different providers, resembling Prime transport or music and video streaming.

WATCH: Amazon introduces Astro, the robot | Amazon’s Dave Limp says Astro house robotic began as safety machine


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