Amazon still hasn’t started mass deliveries of its Astro home robot six months after its launch, and early user reviews have been mixed.
Last September, Amazon introduced the Astro home robot. The company estimated the novelty at $1450. However, for early buyers, selected by Amazon itself by invitation, the robot cost “only” $1,000. According to Bloomberg, almost six months after the announcement, Astro has not been released to the public.
The publication notes that new information about the home robot, in addition to that which was announced as part of its announcement, is almost impossible to find. And this is quite strange, since early buyers usually like to share their experience with new products. Searching for the owners of Astro on YouTube, Twitter and Instagram, journalists were able to find only two people who briefly shared their impressions. Citing people close to the matter, the publication reports that Amazon has delivered just a few hundred Astro home robots so far.
Bloomberg still managed to contact one of the buyers to find out his impressions of the acquisition. According to him, he bought the robot in December last year, when the discount for early buyers was still in effect. Although Matthew Nereim is an ardent fan of Amazon and owns almost all the gadgets released by the company, he considered the cost of $ 1,500 for the Astro robot to be unreasonably high. That is why, having learned that the robot is still being sold at a discount, he bought it for $1,000. In his opinion, a more reasonable price for such a robot would be $700.
The owner noted that he enjoys controlling the Astro with his phone when he is at home, as well as using it to check on how his pet Labrador Cooper is doing when Matthew is at work. The robot can really follow the owner, bring drinks using the built-in cup holder and thus surprise his friends every time. Matthew is well aware that Astro isn’t perfect. When using the cellular network, its navigation can be erratic, the robot sometimes cannot find its charging station, and often gets stuck in place when approaching stairs, trying to figure out how to move on without falling. Typically, Amazon collects user feedback like this to further improve its products. However, Nereim does not send reports to the company, as this is not a mandatory requirement.
Amazon declined to release specific sales figures for the Astro home robots, but said the number of inquiries to buy and actual orders “was higher than they expected.” In a conversation with Bloomberg, a company representative also noted that the supply of the robot is increasing as planned and “will continue to increase in the coming weeks and months.”
Ultimately, the company wants to make the Astro available to a wider range of customers. However, a spokesman for the company said that “it is yet to talk about when this will happen.”