Amazon has put its first delivery robots to work. Six Amazon Scout devices are now delivering in Snohomish County, Washington.
Electric-powered Amazon Scout, the size of a cooler box, rolls alongside pavements at walking pace and follows its delivery route autonomously. At first, however, they will be accompanied by an Amazon employee. The device, developed at Amazon’s Seattle research and development lab, is designed to navigate around obstacles, from pets to pedestrians.
Amazon’s Snohomish County customers will place their orders as usual, choosing from options including same-day, one-day and two-day shipping, free to Prime members. Their package will be delivered either by a carrier, as usual, or by Amazon Scout.
Snohomish County executive Dave Somers said: “We are delighted to welcome Amazon Scout into our community. Similar to Amazon, we are always looking for new ways to better deliver service t our residents. From the latest Amazon innovation to cutting edge technology, Snohomish County is a great place for entrepreneurial creativity.”
Sean Scott, vice president of Amazon Scout, said: “We are happy to welcome Amazon Scout to our growing suite of innovative delivery solutions for customers and look forward to taking the learnings from this first neighbourhood so Amazon Scout can, over time, provide even more sustainability and convenience to customer deliveries.”
This is not the first example of delivery robots that travel at ground-level to drop deliveries. Food delivery platform Just Eat was among a number of companies to trial robots developed by Starship Technologies in xx. But the use of the technology by Amazon has the potential to make the them a more common sight on the streets. It’s interesting that the technology is being initially trialled outside cities where pavements would be much more crowded.
At Amazon, the initiative sits between still-in-development drone delivery, and a range of third-party logistics carriers helping it deliver on ambitious and fast delivery promises.
Image courtesy of Amazon