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Amazon.com to Discontinue Astro for Business

CIO Insider Team | Thursday, 4 July, 2024
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According to reports, Amazon.com is discontinuing Astro for Business, a program that allows companies to monitor their facilities using the company's Astro Home robot.

The move comes less than 1 year after Astro for Business debuted. Robots sold through the program are set to stop working later this year and customers will receive a refund.

Amazon's Astro robot, introduced in 2021, was originally intended only for the consumer market. The machine uses a pair of wheels to navigate the user's home and can carry objects weighing up to 4.4 pounds in a built-in cargo bin. The smart display integrated into Alexa gives you access to several apps.

The Astro can automatically detect and maneuver around objects in its path using an array of onboard sensors. The main highlight of the sensor suite is the periscope camera just above the Alexa-integrated smart display, which can be expanded to a height of about 40 inches. Astro can also detect sounds such as broken glass and smoke detectors.

On May 11 last year, Amazon launched an Astro for Business program to enable companies to apply robot sensors to facility monitoring tasks. The program was aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises. For $2,350, companies can purchase an Astro robot and use it to patrol facilities with up to 5,000 square feet of space.

According to Amazon, customers will be refunded for the cost of their Astro units and any prepaid subscriptions they may have bought. The robots are eligible for Amazon’s free electronics recycling program

Amazon offered 3 add-on subscriptions to the organizations that signed up. The first Astro Secure allowed users to program patrol routes to the robot and customize details such as how often they repeat them. The $ 60 per month plan also allowed Astro to send alerts when it detected abnormal sounds.

Robots sold through the Astro for Business program will stop working on Sept 25. According to Amazon, customers will be refunded for the cost of their Astro units and any prepaid subscriptions they may have bought. The robots are eligible for Amazon’s free electronics recycling program.

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