Amazon plans to discontinue Astro for Business

Amazon plans to discontinue Astro for Business

Amazon has decided to discontinue its Astro for Business program, less than a year after its launch, to focus on its home version of the Astro robot. This decision was communicated to customers and employees through internal emails, stating that Astro for Business robots will cease operations on September 25. Customers are being encouraged to recycle their devices, with full refunds for the original device cost and additional credits to support finding replacement solutions for their workplaces.

Introduced in November 2023, the Astro for Business robot was designed for small- and medium-sized businesses, offering features like HD periscope and night vision for autonomous patrolling and mapping of up to 5,000 square feet. Despite its capabilities, concerns over complex security subscription offerings and cost were noted early on, potentially impacting its adoption.

Amazon clarified that the discontinuation of Astro for Business will not result in job reductions, as affected employees will shift focus to developing consumer robotics products for the home. This strategic shift reflects Amazon’s belief in the long-term benefits of robotics in enhancing customer experiences, particularly in home environments.

The move to end Astro for Business contrasts with the broader market trend, which sees growing interest in robot security guards due to labor shortages and advancing technology. Competitors in this space include Cobalt Robotics, Knightscope, and others from larger defense and security companies.

Amazon’s consumer robotics division, known internally as “CoRo,” under the leadership of Lindo St. Angel, vice president of Amazon Devices, remains committed to advancing consumer robotics solutions for home use. The Astro robot, initially launched for home users in 2021 under Amazon’s Day1 Editions program, continues to evolve based on customer feedback and testing.

While there is no official conversion path for Astro for Business units into the home version, affected customers will receive priority access to purchase the Astro home robot under the Day 1 Editions program. This program aims to refine and introduce new features based on user insights before broader availability.

Overall, Amazon’s decision underscores its strategic realignment towards consumer robotics innovation for home applications, leveraging advancements in artificial intelligence and user feedback to shape future product offerings.

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