Amazon has been developing a new AI robot project that adds intelligence and a conversational interface to a smart home robot, according to internal documents seen by Insider. The project is called Burnham and it could potentially upgrade Amazon’s first home robot, Astro, that failed to meet expectations due to its limited functionality.

Features of Burnham

Burnham, powered by advanced AI and large language models (LLMs), could improve the functionality of smart home robots by understanding the context of a busy household and responding appropriately. The robot can remember what it saw and understood, engage in a Q&A dialogue on what it saw, and use LLMs to act on it. Burnham could alert homeowners if they left the stove on or a faucet running, help find lost keys, check if a window was left open overnight, and monitor whether kids had friends over after school.

The technology also enables Burnham to initiate more complex tasks such as sweeping the floor if it detects broken glass on the floor. According to Amazon, this “Contextual Understanding” is its latest and most advanced AI technology designed to make robots more intelligent, more useful, and more conversational.

Limitations and Future Plans

Despite Burnham’s potential, Amazon acknowledges that it still has a long way to go before it can be put into a product. The current version of Astro is not yet widely available, and its price has increased to $1,600. Amazon scrapped plans to release a cheaper version and has not announced a release date for the upgraded version with Burnham.


The development of Burnham by Amazon is a significant advancement in the field of smart home technology. While the technology is not yet available for purchase, the potential for a more intelligent, useful, and conversational home robot is promising. However, Amazon will need to address the limitations of its current product and make it more widely available before consumers can enjoy the benefits of Burnham.


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