• Amazon revealed a camera-equipped home robot called Astro that users can deploy to patrol their houses.
  • Digital watchdogs however raised concerns for potential risks to people’s most private moments at home.
  • Users can “proactively patrol your home and investigate activity” when they are away, according to Amazon executive Dave Limp.

Amazon revealed a camera-equipped home robot that users can deploy to patrol their houses, a device that one of the project’s developers said was making science fiction a reality.

The tech giant cheered the “Astro” robot as a breakthrough for security and convenience, but digital watchdogs raised concerns for potential risks to people’s most private moments at home. Astro is a roughly 60 cm tall and 9 kg device that can map out a house floor plan and obey commands to go to a specific place to take a closer look with its telescoping camera.

“Now when you are away, you can use it to proactively patrol your home and investigate activity,” Amazon executive Dave Limp said in a product launch clip. The device, which can work with Amazon’s digital home assistant Alexa, can be taught to recognize faces and learn the habits of household members.

Amazon said Astro could also be useful to help remotely check on elderly relatives or deliver reminders for certain activities.