Amazon Ditches Astro for Business After Short Stint

Amazon-Astro

Just under eight months after its launch, Amazon has pulled the plug on the business version of its Astro robot. This news comes despite the company’s claims of being “fully committed” to its home robotics division [Source: GeekWire]. The discontinued Astro for Business was a pricier model (around ₹1.75 lakh) targeted towards security in larger workspaces like offices or warehouses.

Launched in November 2023, Astro for Business promised features like workplace security and had an HD periscope camera. However, its subscription model raised eyebrows, requiring a combination of Ring Protect Pro, Astro Security, and Virtual Security Guard memberships. This complexity, coupled with the short lifespan of the product, suggests potential reasons for its discontinuation.

Amazon assures there haven’t been any layoffs due to Astro for Business’ demise. Instead, they plan to channel resources into their consumer robotics division. The consumer version of Astro, launched in 2021, remains available (by invitation only) for around ₹1.20 lakh. This version, however, isn’t a complete replacement for a security guard. While it can patrol your home and notify you of unfamiliar faces or suspicious sounds, its other features – like following you with music, delivering messages, and setting timers – can be found in considerably cheaper devices.