PYMNTS MonitorEdge May 2024

Amazon Drops SMB Robot to Focus on Home Robot

Amazon is discontinuing its security robot designed for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) about eight months after introducing it.

The company will instead concentrate its efforts in this field on household robots, Reuters reported Wednesday (July 3).

Amazon launched the Amazon Astro robot for household use in 2021 and then expanded it to business customers under the name Astro for Business in November 2023, according to the report.

“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,” an Amazon spokesperson said in the report.

Astro for Business was available only in the United States and was priced at $2,349.99, according to the report.

According to an Amazon Astro Support page on the retailer’s website, Astro for Business is no longer available for purchase and the existing devices will stop functioning on Sept. 25.

“In the coming weeks, Amazon will fully refund any Amazon Astro for Business device purchase to the original payment method used,” the page said.

Astro Secure subscribers will no longer be charged subscription fees as of Wednesday, and they will receive a refund for any unused, prepaid subscription fees, per the page.

“If you have a Day 1 Edition Amazon Astro household robot, your device isn’t impacted and is still supported,” the page said.

When Amazon introduced Astro for Business in November, the company said the security solution combined robotics, smart security and artificial intelligence (AI) to enable SMBs to keep an eye on their business 24/7, even from home. It included live view, remote control and two-way talk functionalities.

With intelligent motion and periscope cameras powered by AI technology, Astro for Business was designed to help SMBs safeguard their inventory in spaces of up to 5,000 square feet.

The original version of Astro, the household robot, was launched in September 2021 and was said to be good at monitoring its environment — in this case, a home or dwelling — like a rolling Ring camera. It also plays music and has home healthcare applications.

At the same time, when the robot was introduced, Amazon was still figuring out Astro’s ideal uses, PYMNTS reported in August 2022.