Amazon’s new Astro robot is creeping out some observers, who say it’s a potential invasion of privacy.

The Astro is a Day 1 Edition product, meaning it’s available via invite-only preorder, and will initially cost $1,000. It’s cute-looking and uses voice-recognition software, cameras, artificial intelligence, mapping technology, and voice- and face-recognition sensors as it zooms from room to room, capturing live video and learning your habits. The convenience comes with a catch, though.

“If you’re worried about a robot mapping out your house—how many of you have a Roomba? We all already have webcams all over of house, so our private lives are already streaming to the cloud. We’re all dependent on Amazon for everything. Alexa anyone? Bezos even knows what color socks you wear.”

Steve Tcherchian

Rolling Companion

Amazon says the Astro is meant to do everything from home monitoring to help you keep in touch with friends and family.

“Astro uses its digital eyes on its rotating screen, body movements, and expressive tones to communicate,” Charlie Tritschler, the vice president of products at Amazon, wrote on the company’s website.

“Its personality is also helpful—for example, it hangs out in places where it can be the most useful. For me, that’s in the kitchen, where I’m typically asking for a recipe or sending Astro to tell my family that dinner is ready.”

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