- Amazon announced on Wednesday that it has begun testing delivery via an autonomous robot called Amazon Scout.
- The test is taking place in Snohomish County, Washington, with the first six Scout devices.
- It’s the latest development in Amazon’s efforts to change how it gets packages to customers.
Amazon wants customers to meet “Scout.”
Amazon Scout is the name of Amazon’s newest delivery test program, announced on Wednesday, in which it uses wheeled autonomous-delivery vehicles that are about the size of a drink cooler and travel on sidewalks to customers’ homes at a walking pace.
The fully electric robot vehicle was developed in-house by Amazon’s research and development lab, the head of the project, Sean Scott, said in a blog post . The vehicle can navigate around anything in its way, including pets and pedestrians, Scott wrote.
The first test has begun with six robots in Snohomish County, Washington, just north of Amazon’s first headquarters in Seattle.
Only Prime customers who utilize same-day, one-day, or two-day shipping are eligible to have Scout arrive on their doorstep.
Amazon said it will take what it learns from this test before considering expanding the test or program to other locations.
Amazon employees will begin by accompanying the robots on deliveries before the devices make their way to customers’ homes autonomously.
Amazon Scout notably beats Amazon’s Prime Air drone delivery project to reality, which was announced in 2013 but has not yet begun a full-scale test.
It also follows Amazon’s other delivery initiatives, including expanding its fleet of Amazon Logistics drivers and delivering inside a customer’s car, garage, or home.