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Amazon rolls out security robot for small businesses

Astro for Business (Photo: Business Wire)
Astro for Business patrols autonomously in a warehouse (Photo: Business Wire).

Amazon’s newest robot provides smart security for small-to-mid-sized business (SMB) customers.

The tech giant, which has developed and deployed a wide variety of artificial intelligence (AI)-based robots in its fulfillment centers, is now introducing “Astro for Business,” which it describes as a security solution for SMBs.

SMB customers can tailor Astro for Business with separately sold subscriptions that are designed to provide incremental benefits when layered on top of each other. These include:

  • Ring Protect Pro: Subscribing to Ring Protect Pro video monitoring lets customers save Astro for Business video history for up to 180 days and sync Astro for Business with other Ring security solutions, such as alarms, motion detectors and and window and door contact sensors.
  • Astro Secure: A new subscription built specifically for business environments that enables Astro to patrol autonomously and lets customers create multiple tailored security monitoring routes, with specific viewpoints and frequencies. Astro can also send customers smart alerts when it hears the sounds of smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms or glass breaking, and with a synced Ring Alarm, Astro can also move autonomously to triggered sensors to investigate.
  • Virtual Security Guard: A Virtual Security Guard subscription lets Amazon rapid response agents intervene in situations such as Astro detecting an unrecognized person, hearing the sound of glass breaking or a smoke or CO alarm, or receiveing an alert that a Ring Alarm sensor has been triggered. The agents can then initiate Astro’s live view and remotely navigate the device to investigate further, and if needed, call emergency services.

"Security continues to be a headache for business owners. But traditional security solutions can be too static or expensive for what businesses need. We think Astro for Business can help with that,” said Anthony Robson, head of product for Amazon Astro. "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."

Astro for Business can provide 24/7 monitoring and can map up to 5,000 square feet. Customers can use live view, two-way talk, an HD periscope camera with night vision, and visual ID to receive unrecognized person smart alerts. 

Customers can control Astro by using the Amazon Astro app to perform tasks such as checking in remotely, communicating with employees, changing patrol frequencies, and arming and disarming the robot. Astro for Business does not retain voice recordings and customers can turn off mics, cameras, and motion with one press of a button, as well as define out-of-bounds zones where Astro is not allowed to patrol.

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