Published on November 16, 2023, 11:03 pm

Amazon Expands Astro Robot to Serve Business Customers

In a move to broaden its reach beyond the home robotics market, Amazon has unveiled Astro for Business. Originally developed as a domestic robot called Astro, this reimagined version now serves as a security robot catering to small- and medium-sized business customers. The new Astro for Business boasts additional features aimed at meeting the specific needs of corporate users, including the ability to create multiple security monitoring routes and send real-time alerts for smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, as well as glass breaking sounds.

Anthony Robson, head of product for Amazon Astro, explained that traditional security solutions are often too inflexible or expensive for businesses. With Astro for Business, Amazon aims to provide a more practical and cost-effective alternative. However, it’s important to note that subscribing to additional plans is necessary in order to fully utilize the service.

Astro for Business comes with a starting price of $2,349.99. However, to benefit from features such as video history storage and synchronization with Ring alarms and motion detectors, customers must also subscribe to Ring Protect Pro at a cost of $20 per month. Furthermore, the patrolling and alerting features called Astro Secure are offered separately at an additional cost of $60 per month. For those seeking human agent support and monitoring services, an extra fee of $99 per month is required along with subscriptions to both Ring Protect Pro and Astro Secure.

Although these price points may seem steep, it’s worth mentioning that early adopters who purchase Astro for Business will receive a four-month trial of Ring Protect Pro and Astro Secure. Nevertheless, businesses should be aware that ongoing costs will accumulate over time.

The release of Astro for Business demonstrates Amazon’s attempt to extract maximum value from the robot in light of its absence from this year’s annual devices and services showcase. Ken Washington, Amazon’s VP of consumer robotics, recently left his position while Astro remains an invite-only product even two years after its initial unveiling. Given these circumstances, it is clear that Amazon is still exploring the full potential of Astro.

As my colleague Haje observed in an op-ed, even Amazon appears unsure about the exact purpose of Astro. Yet, by introducing Astro for Business, Amazon aims to capture a new market segment and potentially uncover additional use cases for this versatile robot. At present, Astro for Business is exclusively available in the United States but may expand internationally in the future.

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