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Amazon will brick its Astro robot intentionally within a year of launch

Customers are expected to receive a complete refund.

Published onJuly 4, 2024

Amazon logo hero shot
Jon Fingas / Android Authority
  • Amazon announced the discontinuation of its Astro for Business program, which it launched in November 2023.
  • Customers who invested in the $2,350 robot dogs will receive full refunds, a $300 credit, and refunds for unused, prepaid subscription fees.
  • Amazon will cover the recycling and shipping costs for the discontinued robots.

Amazon is known for launching innovative programs and gadgets, like the Echo (5th gen), but not all take off as expected. The company recently announced it would be discontinuing the Astro for Business program (via GeekWire). The program was launched in November 2023 for small- and medium-sized businesses that would benefit from a mobile patrol dog watching over inventories and investigating potential disturbances.

The robotic sentry dog is equipped with night vision technology and an HD periscope and can map a total of 5,000 sq. ft. of space on its own, based on preprogrammed routines and routes set by users. In an official email to customers, the company, however, noted that the “robots will stop working Sept. 25.” Amazon also added, “Any patrol or investigation videos recorded by Astro will still be available in your Ring app until your video storage time expires or your Ring Protect subscription ends.”

The robot dogs that were sold under this program had a starting price of $2,350. Additionally, businesses were required to sign up for subscription plans, like Astro Secure, to use the robot dogs. The good news is that companies that invested in these robots are not out of their money. Amazon will issue complete refunds and a $300 credit to all existing customers. Unused, prepaid Astro Secure subscription fees will be refunded as well. Users also won’t be charged further subscription fees.

Can’t convert Astro dogs to home robots

Companies that have to deal with the discontinuation of this program will be able to use Amazon’s recycling program. Amazon will cover the recycling and shipping costs. While businesses will receive an invite to purchase the home version of the Astro robot via the Astro Day 1 Editions program, there’s no way to officially convert an existing Astro security dog to a home robot.

The consumer dog version of Astro can deliver messages, play media, interact with people living in the house, and carry items in its cargo hold. It’s also capable of home surveillance and autonomous navigation. Despite its features and capabilities, the consumer version is not yet publicly available on Amazon’s platform for home users. Instead, it remains an invite-only program.

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