Amazon is “field testing” a small delivery robot as part of its premium service, Amazon Prime. (See video below.)
The robot, called Amazon Scout, is a “fully-electric delivery system” designed to safely get packages to customers using autonomous delivery devices, says the company in its blog.
These devices were created by Amazon, are the size of a small cooler, and roll along sidewalks at a walking pace.
Starting today, these devices will begin delivering packages to customers in a neighborhood in Snohomish County, Washington.
Customers in Snohomish County can order just as they normally would and their Amazon packages will be delivered either by one of Amazon’s partner carriers or by Amazon Scout.
The world’s largest online retailer’s customers can shop on the Amazon App or amazon.com and get the same delivery options including free Same-Day, One-Day and Two-Day shipping for Prime members.
The company is starting with six Amazon Scout devices, delivering packages Monday to Friday, during daylight hours.
The devices will autonomously follow their delivery route but will initially be accompanied by an Amazon employee.
The company says it developed Amazon Scout at its research and development lab in Seattle, and the machine is designed to “safely and efficiently navigate around pets, pedestrians and anything else in their path”.
Snohomish County has agreed to be Amazon’s initial partner for Amazon Scout.
Dave Somers, Snohomish County executive, says: “We are delighted to welcome Amazon Scout into our community. Similar to Amazon, we are always looking for new ways to better deliver service to our residents.
“From the latest Amazon innovation to cutting edge technology, Snohomish County is a great place for entrepreneurial creativity.”
The company says Amazon Scout is part of its “growing suite of innovative delivery solutions” for customers and will take the lessons from this first neighborhood so Amazon Scout can, over time, provide “even more sustainability and convenience to customer deliveries”.