Amazon is rolling out self-driving delivery robots. The internet giant announced Wednesday that six'Scout' robots will deliver packages to customers in a neighborhood in Snohomish County, Washington. Each Scout robot is a squat, bright blue device that gets around on six wheels. The battery-powered devices about the size of a small cooler and can deliver packages autonomously. And city or suburban dwellers don't have to worry about Scout running them over on the street, as Amazon says the robots'roll along sidewalks at a walking pace.'
FedEx on Wednesday unveiled a prototype of its SameDay Bot, an autonomous delivery vehicle designed to get smaller deliveries from retailers to nearby customers. Like Amazon and FedEx's other competitors in the shipping business, FedEx is hoping that autonomous vehicles can help it solve the challenges of last-mile logistics. Developed in collaboration with DEKA Development & Research Corp., the SameDay Bot is designed to basically go anywhere a human can go -- on sidewalks, streets or grass, over steps and up steep ramps. The battery-powered robot is designed to communicate with those around it about its next moves, and it's equipped with LiDAR and multiple cameras that keep it aware of its surroundings. Its AI algorithms help it plot a safe path to its destination, as well as detect and avoid obstacles.
No matter who you ask, the near-future of delivery seems to involve fleets of robots shuffling packages from stores, down sidewalks, and onto doorsteps. Robots will lug grocery bags from market to kitchen; they'll begin to replace humans delivering take-out and dropping off parcels. And soon, your Amazon Prime packages may show up courtesy of Scout, Amazon's new six-wheeled autonomous delivery robot built to withstand the sidewalk. Amazon announced on Wednesday that it will begin field testing Scout in Snohomish County, Washington, with Prime customers who request same-day, one-day, or two-day delivery. For now, Amazon says it will limit its testing to daylight hours during the week, when sidewalk traffic is lowest.
Clear the sidewalks, Amazon's new delivery bot Scout is coming through. The Prime bot, which looks like a light blue cooler on six wheels, started delivering packages Wednesday in Snohomish County, north of Seattle. The bot will work alongside usual Amazon delivery methods (aka human drivers) and only six of the robots will be rolling around to start. The Scouts will only drop off packages Monday through Friday during daylight hours. Here's Scout, developed by Amazon in Seattle, in delivery mode: The electric device is autonomous, but to start an Amazon employee will "shadow" Scout to make sure it is properly accomplishing its Prime-ly duties.
The latest gee-whiz project from Amazon is the Scout robot, a cooler-sized automated delivery device that rolls along sidewalks to transport shipments to your home. Amazon's planes, drones, delivery trucks and relationship with the U.S. Postal Service apparently are not all-inclusive enough to handle the online retailing giant's logistical challenges. Enter Scout, an electric-powered delivery robot. Amazon has begun testing six of the cooler-sized, six-wheeled robots in a neighborhood in Snohomish County, Washington, about 60 miles northeast of Amazon's Seattle headquarters. Initially, the Scout robots will operate Monday through Friday during the daytime.