Nope, you still can’t bring home Amazon’s wheeled Astro robot without an invite. But starting now, you can unleash Astro in a store, office, or warehouse as a tireless—and high-priced—guard dog.
Launching today, Astro for Business repurposes the Astro robot as a mobile security camera for small- and medium-sized businesses, allowing the bot to patrol the premises with help from its built-in HD periscope camera.
Of course, Astro for Business won’t be cheap. It will cost $2,349.99 to add Astro to your payroll, and that doesn’t include a trio of optional subscription services for the robot.
In contrast, the consumer version of Astro costs $1,599.99, which is still an eye-popping price tag. What’s more, the standard Astro is still a “Day 1 Edition” product, meaning it’s only available to purchase by invitation.
With its HD periscope cam plus night vision, Astro for Business is designed to earn its keep by patrolling your business, recording surveillance footage, and even summoning the authorities if it detects intruders, although its more advanced features will require extra subscription costs.
For starters, there’s the $20-a-month Ring Protect Pro plan, which allows Astro (plus all your other Ring cameras) to save up to 180 days of video history as well as sync Astro’s alerts with your Ring Alarm or Ring Alarm Pro system.
You can also sign up for Astro Secure, a Ring Protect Pro add-on that lets Astro patrol the area “autonomously,” as well as allowing users to create customized monitoring routes for the robot. Besides patrolling, the $60-a-month Astro Secure plan gives Astro the ability to listen for smoke alarms and breaking glass, or even scoot toward a triggered motion or contact sensor for further investigation.
Finally, there’s the $99 Virtual Security Guard plan, which allows Astro to notify “Rapid Response” agents if it detects an intruder, hears breaking glass or a smoke alarm, or gets an alert from a Ring Alarm sensor. Once alerted, the Rapid Response agents can tap into Astro’s live video feed and summon the authorities if there’s a security issue.
Taken together, those three services would cost business owners an additional $179 a month on top of the initial $2,349.99 outlay for the Astro bot itself.
First positioned as a family-oriented home robot, the Amazon Astro first debuted more than two years ago. The AI-powered bot features two large wheels on the sides, a central smart display (which features two circular “eyes” when not in use for video chat or other functions), a bevy of sensors, and a periscope-mounted HD camera.
Naturally, the Astro made for quite a sensation during Amazon’s 2021 fall hardware event. But its lengthy stint as an invite-only product recalls another headline-grabbing Amazon device, the flying Ring Always Home Cam from 2020, which remains in “Day 1” limbo.
Asked whether the Astro would ever go into general release for regular consumers, an Amazon spokesperson demurred but noted that requests for Astro invites have “remained strong.”
“We want to make sure that for general availability we have considered how our customers can best benefit from Astro in the home,” the Amazon rep said.