Here’s the latest “This is a parody, right? –Oh no, they’re sincere” realization: Amazon has announced their Astro, a small, Alexa-enabled “household robot for home monitoring.”
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And this, folks, is how they envision it integrating with your lifestyle:
I say Amazon is half-stepping. This thing is supposed to monitor your home for intruders, yet it has no combat capabilities, nor defensive measures. The screen is placed at perfect kick-height.
If overturned, the Astro has no way to right itself. There’s no powerful laser, sonic weapon, electroshock prod, not even a ball-bearing or caltrop dispenser. The thing can’t tackle stairs; if your house is two stories, well, just choose the level you’d like to protect. Should be an easy choice: You’ve got the kids sleeping upstairs, but all that expensive stuff in the kitchen and living room.
Also, that telescoping rod? I’ve seen enough movies to know that when fighting this thing, you snap that rod off, then use it to spear the robot.
On the plus side, it docks itself for recharging. So it’s like a Roomba, except it doesn’t vacuum.
The $1,500 robot will initially sell for the bargain price of $1,000, “exclusively by invitation” through Amazon’s Day 1 Editions program. If it succeeds in the marketplace, we can expect to see a rash of YouTube videos of guys in ski masks moving towards the camera, then the video ends with a giant shoe sole.