Tech

Amazon retires its Astro for Business security robot after only 7 months

Amazon has decided to discontinue its Astro for Business device, a security robot for small- and medium-sized businesses, just seven months after launch. 

In an email sent to customers and employees on Wednesday, provided to TechCrunch, the reason for putting Astro for Business on the shelf is simple: Amazon wants to focus on its home version of Astro. Launched in 2021, the home version offers home security, pet detection, message delivery, a cargo bin capable of carrying up to 4.4 pounds, and more.

“We are fully committed to our vision of bringing world-class consumer robotics solutions to the home,” an Amazon spokesperson said in a prepared statement. “To accelerate our progress and ongoing research to make Astro the best in-home robot, we’ve made the decision to wind down support for Astro for Business. We’re excited about the in-home experiences we’re inventing for Astro, and look forward to sharing more in the future.”

Astro for Business robots will no longer function starting on September 25. The company recommends that customers recycle the security robots through Amazon’s recycling program, which will cover the shipping cost.

Although the company did not specify how many business customers were impacted by this discontinuation, it is clear that there were not enough customers for Amazon to continue investing in the devices.

The Astro for Business robots, which were priced at $2,350, were accompanied by three subscription plans. The “Astro Secure” subscription, priced at $60 per month, offered features like programming routes. Amazon also offered two optional subscriptions, allowing users to pay $20 per month for features like Ring alarms and motion detectors, and an additional $99 per month for human agent support and monitoring.

Effective immediately, companies will no longer be charged the “Astro Secure” subscription fee. Amazon has also announced a $300 credit for affected customers, which can be used to support a replacement solution for your workplace. Additionally, customers will be refunded for any unused, pre-paid Astro Secure fees.

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