Amazon Pulls the Plug on Astro, Its Robotic Security Guard for Businesses

In a surprising move, Amazon has decided to discontinue Astro, its semi-autonomous security guard robot tailored for the business sector, less than a year after its grand announcement. The cessation of this futuristic sentinel, effective from September 25, marks the end of an ambitious blend between artificial intelligence and robotics aimed at revolutionizing business security protocols.

The decision to retire Astro from its business operations came to light through a recent correspondence from Amazon to its current users. The company assures that this move is aligned with its broader objective to pioneer and deliver exceptional robotics solutions to consumers. Focusing on the household market, Amazon emphasizes its commitment to enhancing the in-home robot experience, underlining that Astro’s residential counterpart is still very much an active project with ongoing customer invitations.

The introduction of Astro for Business had sparked curiosity across various industries. From monitoring stock levels to integrating with security services such as Ring Protect and Astro Secure, the robot promised a new era of business security management. It also boasted compatibility with the Virtual Security Guard service, allowing remote operatives to manually navigate Astro in response to security alerts. The complete setup was priced at an initial cost of $2,349.99 plus a monthly subscription fee based on the chosen service plan.

However, despite its advanced capabilities, Astro didn’t achieve the anticipated traction within the business community, leading Amazon to refocus its resources on the consumer sector. With advancements in generative AI and robotics, the company remains bullish about the benefits these technologies will bring to everyday home users.

Lindo St Angel, a senior engineering executive at Amazon, conveyed his optimism for home robotics in a note to staff, highlighting the innovative strides being made in the field and Amazon’s intention to concentrate its efforts in this area.

Amazon’s immediate steps involve discontinuing the sale of Astro for Business solutions and pledging to refund their commercial clients. Those who invested in this technology will not only receive a full refund for the hardware but will also be awarded a $300 Amazon credit to help find a suitable alternative security solution in the forthcoming weeks. Furthermore, all associated service subscriptions will be terminated, with refunds issued for any advance payments made.

The company is encouraging current owners of the soon-to-be obsolete device to participate in their recycling initiative, demonstrating Amazon’s commitment to environmental responsibility. For individuals who became fond of their robotic companions, Amazon offers a consolation through its Astro Day 1 Editions Program, potentially opening the door for the acquisition of a home version of Astro.

This pivot away from business security robotics underscores Amazon’s strategy to double down on consumer technology, with a keen eye on harnessing and implementing the latest advancements in AI and robotics to enrich the home living experience. As the curtains close on Astro’s business chapter, it heralds a focused venture into making home robotics more accessible, intuitive, and integrated into daily life.

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