Very cool! I just ordered one yesterday, so it won’t be here for another 2 weeks. I might like to make an extension like that, myself…seems like a great idea. Is the penguin just for fun…or is he some kind of functional little guy?
Well, there certainly are many challenges to justify Astro. To be honest, I almost returned him in the first week or two once the infatuation subsided. But then I realized that there were elements of his presence that were just compelling to me personally.
For instance, I can’t help but be amazed by the programming (I’m a programmer, BTW) that went into his navigation skills. He doesn’t try to steer to the middle of a passageway, he clips the corners within an inch or two and sails along at far faster speeds than I would expect. Has never collided with anything. Earns my respect.
That alone is worth the price of admission. It’s also pretty nice to tell him to hang out in the room I’m occupying and play whatever music I’m in a mood for.
It’s nice to know I can check in on the pets when I’m away from home. Or have him do parlor tricks with “Up periscope, down periscope.”
Bottom line is that I’ve pissed away a lot more money and gotten a lot less. It’s just fun to be in on the ground floor of something that’s on its way, no matter how feeble the use case.
We have a Havanese who thinks he’s such a little tough guy…so he will mostly bark at it which will drive me nuts. I think I’ll try to intoduce him to Astro when I’m unboxing and setting up…maybe (and it’s a big maybe), he won’t feel as threatened.
I have a hockey puck sized thing on my desk that plays whatever music I want whenever I ask. And I nanny-cammed the dogs, long ago…
Re: Robotics… I still have a Max Steel robot, manufactured by Mattel, bought new back around the mid 1980s. It’s an R2D2 sized robot with a gripper arm and some limited sensors. Been in a box for decades. I keep telling myself one day I’ll rip out the guts and install a much, much smarter hardware system.
Instead of elevating the penguin, it would seem that elevating the screen on some sort of telescoping gadget to rise to more useful heights might be far better. Things like “go watch out the window for the Amazon delivery truck” or “show me what my Glowforge is doing” could be very useful.
Knowing what the penguin might hit could be a problem and why it sits low.
I missed that bit but the screen needs to go up and down also/with it.
Some way to pick up things (even the penguin) to stick in the back and bring them to you.
(now if it could do all that and climb stairs and open doors I would be grabbing one.)
We will have a use for Astro. My husband has very poor balance and occasionally falls down…and when he’s upright, uses a walker. He cannot use a cell phone…and even when our landline rings, he can seldomly get to the phone fast enough to answer. If he fell down and I wasn’t at home at the time, the height of the robot wouldn’t even matter…he can summon Astro and have it call for help…or if nothing else, alert me in the app on my cell phone that something has happened with him. That alone is a huge feeling of relief for us.
Well, maybe…but, whatever the periscope is seeing will show in the app on your phone. Yes…a real live person still has to put things into the cargo area first before sending it out for delivery…so, it’s not ALL completely robotic, but it’s a heck of a lot closer than anything I have right now.
You know, Apple Watch and some Android watches (like Samsung’s) have fall detection and emergency calling built in. If it detects a fall, it makes the call.
You could get him one of those, and not have to worry about whether he’s knocked himself out and can’t summon Astro for help… I’m not at any particular risk for this kind of thing myself. But I do some stuff that could result in personal injury (sports, some solo), so I have my watch set to call my wife if it detects that I’ve fallen down. Nice feature. Arguably better than the “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” solutions that require the victim to be conscious.