Amazon, the e-commerce giant, has announced that its home robot Astro will soon be able to serve as a security guard for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). The company said that it is working with its smart home security subsidiary Ring to integrate Astro with its Virtual Security Guard service, which offers live motion event monitoring for customers.
Astro: A home robot with a personality
Astro is a roving robot that can navigate smoothly throughout the home and around objects, using sensors and two Qualcomm chips. It is powered by Alexa, Amazon’s voice assistant, and can respond to commands, serve up reminders, and recognize different users. It also has a personality, with expressive eyes and sounds, and can interact with pets and children.
Astro was unveiled last year at Amazon’s annual hardware event, after four years of development. The company said that it received hundreds of thousands of invite requests to purchase Astro, and heard many inspiring stories about how customers use it in their homes. Some customers use Astro with Alexa Together to check in on their aging loved ones, while others use Astro’s integration with Ring Protect Pro to ensure the security of their home.
Astro for businesses: A cost-effective security solution
Amazon said that it is now exploring how Astro can be helpful for SMBs, which are turning to Ring for security devices and services. The company said that it is bringing Astro and Virtual Security Guard together to offer SMBs a new way to protect their business.
Virtual Security Guard is a service that lets customers add live motion event monitoring to their security cameras for added peace of mind. With Astro, customers can have an autonomous and proactive security device that can investigate any alarms or suspicious activities in their premises, while professional monitoring agents use Astro’s cameras to observe what’s happening in real time. If something is wrong, agents can take appropriate action, such as calling dispatch to send the right authorities, or warning off an intruder through two-way talk.
Amazon said that it will begin rolling out this feature to a small group of business customers in the coming months, and that it is looking forward to hearing their feedback. The company said that Astro can complement or even replace the need for on-site guard patrol during off-hours, and that it can provide an innovative and cost-effective security solution for SMBs.
Astro: A new kind of robot for the home and beyond
Amazon said that Astro is a new kind of robot that can provide convenience, security, and entertainment for the home and beyond. The company said that it is constantly enhancing Astro with new features and capabilities, and that it is excited to see how customers will use it in the future.
Astro is currently available by invitation only, and costs $1,000 for early access customers and $1,500 for those who buy it at launch. Amazon said that it will continue to invite more customers to purchase Astro over time, and that it will keep improving the device based on customer feedback and learning.