Amazon Scout Robots now delivering packages in Southern California
The Next-gen delivery Guy is here!
Amazon entered the robot delivery game, back in January, with the announcement of its electric delivery vehicle dubbed as the Amazon Scout. The simplistic design consisted of six wheels, and electric battery to power its operations as it moves at a walking pace.
The e-commerce giant started its trials soon after in Snohomish County, Washington neighborhood closer to its headquarters. The packages were delivered between Monday to Friday in the daylight hours with the robots on wheels accompanied by human overseers to make sure that the Scout can navigate the walkways safely and deliver the packages efficiently.
Advancement in technology has enabled it easier to maneuver this kind of robot on wheels. More importantly, risks relating to the device making a mistake are much smaller. Self-driving Teslas bursting into flames on a busy highway is a much bigger hazard.
After extensive testing of eight months, Amazon has announced the expansion of the program to Irvine, California, area on a larger scale. The delivery robot on the wheels will continue to be monitored by human companions and will still deliver during the daytime hours. Expansion of the program to a new city, however, confirms that the initial pilot has been successful as Scout moves to the next phase of its deployment.
The Scout robot delivery option will be integrated into the online orders for customers in the Irvine area. Depending on what makes sense logistically, you will either receive your package through regular mailing channels or an Amazon Scout will come knocking. Scouts are getting better as they get trained on digital simulations using 3D mapping technology of the cities combined with real-world tests.
Delivery robots are not the only automation delivery option Amazon is looking into — in the conference re:MARS 2019 in Las Vegas, it also announced the release of its prototype Prime Air package delivery drone. The fully electric drones will be able to fly up to 15 miles to deliver packages weighing less than 5 pounds in under 30 minutes.