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My Amazon Astro Robot came early

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Offline jwlv

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My Amazon Astro Robot came early
« on: July 30, 2022, 01:15:55 am »
It was supposed to be delivered on Monday, but it came early on Friday. It was shipped UPS ground and required a signature. I made some short video clips already so you can get a feel for what it can do. There's still a lot I need to learn about what can I say to it and what it's capable of doing. I will add more videos later on as I discover more things.

Here's a playlist of the videos I've made so far.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwri6zeu2Ag&list=PL3F908E7C63232DC7


Re: My Amazon Astro Robot came early
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2022, 04:00:27 am »
looks interesting.   have you found any real use for it yet?   how is the sound for music?   I am still waiting for an invite but still not sure if I will get it.   I am afraid that it would be fun to play with for a few days then forgotten.

Offline jwlv

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Re: My Amazon Astro Robot came early
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2022, 01:38:23 am »
The only real use that I found to be worthy of the Astro is to bring something to another room. For example, I can tell Astro to take a bottle of water to the kitchen.

The Astro Ring security features are kind of primitive. Yes, it can alert me through the app when it doesn't recognize the face of someone in my house, but my home security system would already have alerted me that someone opened the door or broke a window or something. These security features also require a Ring Protect Pro subscription (6 months trial is included). I believe the subscription costs $200/year. If you already have Ring cameras and other Ring devices, you already pay for the subscription. So this wouldn't add to the cost of the Ring subscription.

Other than that, it's just an Echo Show on wheels. The audio quality for music is just average. In fact, it sounds kind of muddled. If you do get an invitation, I would recommend buying it. It is very cool technology even though it doesn't work as well as I want it to. Still it is worthy of giving it a try.

There are several bugs that I've already found.
1. If I say Astro, volume 6 (or any other number), Astro will stop listening after that. It's as if the mic mute button was pressed, but it wasn't pressed. To fix this, I have to reboot Astro. And sometimes it takes a few reboots. The physical mic mute, volume up, volume down buttons do work as expected though.
2. If Astro is near a step or some other obstacle, it will stop moving. To Astro, near means about one foot away which isn't near at all. One time Astro decided to hangout near a trash can. I didn't put him there. It went there on its own because I was in the same room. But when I tried to take over control through the app, Astro decided that it was too close to the trash can and refused to let me take control. The app didn't even give me the correct error response. It just said something about not being able to take control at this time and to try again later. It was after many trials and errors that I found out this happens when it's too close to an obstacle. But it shouldn't have been too close because Astro parked itself there on its own. Once that happens I can no longer control moving it even to make it to back up or to turn another direction to get away from the obstacle. At the same time, the camera stops working. So even if I was still able to control it, I can't see where it's going. The only way out of this state is to tell it to go to a preprogrammed location, e.g. Astro go to the kitchen.
3. If I say Astro get out of my way, Astro move away, or Astro you are in my way, or anything that resembles me telling it that it should move away, it starts playing some song with a similar title. It seems that any time Astro doesn't understand something, it starts to play some song with a similar title to what I am asking it to do. The only way that I've found to make Astro get out of the way is to tell it to go to a preprogrammed location (e.g. Astro go to the kitchen) or just say Astro move! Any other variation of this will result in playing some unknown song from Prime Music.
4. Not a bug, but it gets in the way more often than not. It likes to hang out in high traffic areas. There is a setting to turn off "hang out" but that just keeps Astro on the charging base. I'd like it to "hang out" near by, just not in the direct line of traffic. As far as I can see, there isn't a way to tell Astro to hang out in a designated location.
5. A few times Astro stopped responding completely by voice commands. It only responded to the app. I rebooted Astro and it came back in the same catatonic state. After a couple more power off/reboots, then it started working again. This is probably related to the Volume bug (above).
6. It seems that Astro's voice control is disparate from the app. You can ask Astro to do the same thing by voice and by app, and the results will be different. It makes me think that two different development teams worked on this.

I can see some resourceful hacker piece together an Echo Show with a Lidar capable robovac and a Raspberry Pi and probably accomplish the same thing.

Amazon does have a 60 day return policy on the Astro. At this point, I have not made up my mind to keep it or return it.

Offline jwlv

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Re: My Amazon Astro Robot came early
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2022, 01:49:31 am »
Scratch bug #1 off the list. It appears that the Astro team just fixed the volume bug. Now I can tell Astro to change the volume without it locking me out of voice control until reboot.