1. Home
  2. >>
  3. amazon
  4. >>
  5. Amazon’s Astro follows you everywhere (even down the stairs)

Amazon’s Astro follows you everywhere (even down the stairs)

Amazon’s Astro follows you everywhere (even down the stairs)

Amazon has unveiled its “domestic robot” Star, which follows you while making a video call, as well as acting as a security camera on wheels when you are away from home. But the company’s internal documents reveal that Amazon’s facial recognition and behavior learning Astro work badly, in addition to being a privacy risk. And two Amazon employees warn that she “will commit suicide by throwing herself down the stairs”.

UPDATE: We have included the response to the criticism from Amazon in the article.

Amazon Astro is a privacy risk (and it works poorly)

The Amazon robot has just seen the light, presented by the company as a revolution in the home. But Vice has already collected some sources inside the company and exclusive documents revealing how the robot is not ready for the market. And it is an extreme risk for the privacy of those who buy it.

  Facebook exposes untold data on Amazon’s public servers

According to the documents (which refer to the robot with the code name “Vesta“) Uses the Facial recognition to recognize who is in front of him. This allows you to distinguish between homeowners and potential intruders. Also, it uses the behavior recognition to understand when you are doing something out of the ordinary, to stay alert. This way you can check for any suspicious activity.

This in itself presents a privacy problem, so much so that it convinces many users not to use this type of device at home. But according to those who worked on it, the robot it does not perform these two mechanisms perfectly. In fact, it happens that he does not recognize a family member and activates the alarm, or that he sends you notifications on the smartphone because the dog is sleeping in a different room than usual.

  With Amazon’s “Popcorn Days”, bringing the cinema home is easy

One employee commented: “Astro is terrible and yes will certainly throw from the stairs if the opportunity presents itself. Recognition of people is unreliable when it is right, making the possibility of using it for home security laughable ”. Another comments: “In my opinion, it is a disaster that is not ready to be released. They break and will certainly throw themselves down the stairs in your home. Furthermore, it is also (to me) a privacy nightmare and demonstrates how our company trades privacy for convenience with devices like Vesta ”.

Before judging, you have to try, but these statements do not bode well, especially for a device that costs 999 euros within the launch program and 1499 euros when fully operational. But we are sure that it is they will know better the details of this robot domestic in the coming months. If you want to read the statements of the Amazon employees in their entirety, here is the Vice article.

  Amazon Kindle: Infected e-books to steal user data

Amazon’s response

After taking the time to analyze the statements published by Vice, which we reported to you, Amazon responded in this way. “These claims about Astro’s performance, driveshaft and safety systems are totally inaccurate. Astro has passed rigorous tests on both quality and safety, including tens of thousands of trial hours with beta test participants. This phase includes comprehensive testing of Astro’s advanced safety system, which is designed to avoid objects, detect stairs and stop the device where and when needed. ”

Additionally, the company explained to us that Astro has different levels of privacy to keep customer information safe. For instance:

  This gaming desk is perfect: it is foldable and has a support for helmets, and it is sold by Amazon

You can find more information on the official Amazon website.