If the robot detects something it thinks is out of the ordinary, such as seeing a person it doesn't recognize, or a sound like glass breaking or a fire alarm, it will investigate further, including following an unidentified person around the house, the file reads."Sentry is required to investigate any unrecognized person detected by it or Audio Event in certain set of conditions are met," one file reads. "Sentry should first try to identify the person if they are not still unrecognized for as long as 30s [seconds]. When the person is identified as unknown or 30s passed, Sentry should start following the person until Sentry Mode is turned off."
"Astro is terrible and will almost certainly throw itself down a flight of stairs if presented the opportunity."
"The mobility in the device needs to work perfectly. I’m saying perfect here because if it’s not working perfect, we cannot expect social robotics to be welcome [in people’s homes]," a developer who worked on Vesta states in a meeting.In order to be perfect, Astro must "appear 'smart' to users," "needs to interact well with people, taking social norms into account," needs to track and learn from customer behavior, and "needs to have some level of autonomy. It is available when needed, and it 'wants' to be around humans but not underfoot."Schmidt told Motherboard that "we designed Astro to handle a lot of the data processing on the device, including the images and raw sensor data it processes as it moves around your home. This helps Astro respond quickly to its environment. In addition, your visual ID is stored on the device, and Astro uses on-device processing to recognize you."Amazon's programmers also mentioned in a meeting that they have determined the optimal distances Astro should interact with customers from. For example, during most times it should be "socially distant," meaning 1 to 1.5 meters away from a user. However, "when a user is buying something from Amazon, the device knows the [screen] needs to be in a viewable state. 40 centimeters away" from the customer.Jason Koebler and Jordan Pearson contributed reporting.Update: This piece has been updated to include additional comment from Amazon.
"It's, at best, absurdist nonsense and marketing and, at worst, potentially dangerous for anyone who'd actually rely on it for accessibility purposes."