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Amazon launches Astro for Business, a robot to protect SMBs

Amazon's been testing Astro for Business for the past year, and it's launching the new version of its popular monitoring robot today.
Written by Maria Diaz, Staff Writer
Astro for Business

Amazon just announced a new assignment for its home-monitoring robot, Astro: business security. With the new Astro for Business, small and midsize businesses (SMBs) can protect their inventory and surveil up to 5,000 square feet. 

Astro is going from a household robot to a business security solution powered by its AI-driven person recognition and mapping, an HD periscope camera with night vision, smart alerts, and the ability to set up scheduled patrols and custom patrol routes. 

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"We have been testing Astro in a variety of businesses and have seen firsthand how Astro's intelligent motion helped provide visibility on blind spots and areas that existing stationary cameras couldn't see, giving business owners peace of mind because their inventory and property are protected, even when they aren't there," said Anthony Robson, head of product for Amazon Astro. 

Astro for Business moves around a business with ease to surveil large areas, with the ability to create maps of up to 5,000 square feet. 

A new Astro Secure subscription gives users the ability to let Astro patrol areas autonomously, set up custom patrol zones and routes, and monitor for sounds of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms going off, or sounds of breaking glass. 

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"Security continues to be a headache for business owners. According to the National Retail Federation, businesses have faced losses of nearly $100 billion in 2022. But traditional security solutions can be too static or expensive for what businesses need. We think Astro for Business can help with that," said Robson.

The Astro for Business robot is a security solution that is best used when customers have a subscription to one or more of the Amazon security subscriptions, such as the Astro Secure program, Ring Protect Pro, or Virtual Security Guard subscriptions.

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Amazon is building on the success of the Astro for Business pilot program during the past year, where customers in retail, food and beverage, health, manufacturing, and construction have tested the monitoring robot.

"Having Astro has helped me sleep better at night," said Jonathan Hebel, chief operating officer of Hapa Group and part of the Astro for Business preview program. "We use industrial ovens that, if not turned off properly, can easily start a fire. I used to drive back to the office at all hours if I wasn't confident they were shut down. Now with Astro, I'm able to check in via live view and triple-check that the ovens are off at any time -- whether it's 6 p.m. or 2 a.m." 

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The Astro for Business robot is available now on Amazon for $2,350 and each purchase includes a four-month trial of Ring Protect, which costs $20 a month, and Astro Secure, priced at $60 a month. An additional $99 a month adds a Virtual Security Guard subscription.

Since its preview launch over a year ago, the household Astro has been available on an invitation-only basis and for the price of $1,000. The household Astro is also limited to mapping up to 3,500 square feet.

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