Zubayr Ganiyu

Amazon is piloting its own delivery robot

It was, of course, just a matter of time before Amazon deployed delivery robots. The company has had a robotics wing for a number of years now, though much of its public-facing side has been focused on warehouse logistics. Today, however, it took the wraps off Scout.

The six-wheeled robot looks a fair bit like a number of the delivery robots already being piloted on sidewalks all over the world. This one, however, was apparently developed in-house by Amazon. As the company notes, the electric system is the size of a beach cooler and cruises along at roughly a walking pace.

The ‘bot is going to be piloted in Snohomish County, Washington, which boarders Seattle’s King County. The company no doubt wanted to get word out before residents were confused by little blue robots cruising around their otherwise quiet neighborhoods. There’s even an ad with jaunty startup music to assure people they’ve got nothing to fear.

The pilot program involves six Scouts to start. The ‘bots are designed to autonomously reach their destination, but these early models will be accompanied by Amazon employees to make sure everything goes as planned. If Amazon does adopt Scout more widely, the robot could eventually replace last mile logistics from carriers like UPS, FedEx and USPS.

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